July 15, 2015
- Iran Nuclear Deal Leaves Big Questions – Robert Satloff
The Iran nuclear agreement maps Iran’s emergence as a regional power, with the full blessing – even support – of the U.S. and the international community. A deal originally conceived as trading sanctions relief for an end to Iran’s nuclear program evolved into a deal trading sanctions relief for time-limited restrictions on Iran’s ambitious nuclear plans.
According to the agreement, there is only one penalty for any infraction, big or small – taking Iran to the UN Security Council for the “snapback” of international sanctions. Yet all contracts signed by Iran up until that point are grandfathered in and immune from sanctions. That means one can expect a stampede of contracts – some real, many hypothetical – all designed to shield Iran from the impact of possible reimposition of sanctions, thereby weakening the impact of the punishment.
But the problem with snapback gets worse. The agreement states that Iran considers a reimposition of sanctions as freeing it from all commitments and restrictions under the deal. In other words, the violation would have to be really big for the Security Council to blow up the agreement. That effectively gives Iran a free pass on all manner of small to mid-level violations. The writer is executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (New York Daily News)