Examining Nuclear Negotiations – Mark Dubowitz (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday:
The U.S. administration seemed ready to give tens of billons of dollars in irreversible sanctions relief, in addition to the unilateral sanctions relief by blocking new Congressional sanctions, in exchange for the promise of reversible nuclear concessions that do not roll back or freeze enough of the critical elements of Iran’s military-nuclear infrastructure.
The administration has also undermined the deterrent effect of the U.S. military option. Senior administration officials have repeatedly warned about the grave dangers of U.S. or Israeli pre-emptive military strikes. With enhanced economic measures and the military option off the table, the administration is now hoping it can constrain the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic by diplomacy alone, leading to a verification and inspection regime based on trust with an Iranian leadership that has a three decades-long track record of utter mendacity.
To rationalize this decision to conclude an interim nuclear deal that falls well short of even the minimum requirements recommended by nuclear experts, the administration is betting on the hope that Rouhani is a true “pragmatist.” “Pragmatism” doesn’t make Iranian leaders less committed to an atomic weapon, less anti-American, or more averse to viewing terrorism as statecraft. Like other Iranian leaders, Rouhani wants both the bomb and sanctions relief.
U.S. officials know Rouhani is lying when he says that the Islamic Republic has never had any intention of building an atomic weapon. Defecting Iranian nuclear engineers told U.S. officials in the late 1980s that the mullahs’ program was designed exclusively for such arms. 19,000 centrifuges, a heavy-water plant, a robust ballistic missile program, and alleged testing of nuclear trigger technology – everything Western intelligence services have tracked since then matches those early revelations.