Apr. 17, 2015
- Iran’s $300 Billion Shakedown – David Rothkopf
It is one thing to relieve sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country giving up its nuclear weapons program. That was the purpose of imposing the sanctions in the first place. But the Obama administration and the other parties to the interim nuclear deal with Iran now seem to be saying they are willing to release to Iran between a third and a half a trillion dollars over the next 15 years in order for Iran not to give up the program, but to freeze it. In other words, Iran is not permanently and irreversibly accepting international standards; we are just renting its restraint.
The Iran deal sets a new standard. The major powers will only impose sanctions on countries that get very, very close to having nuclear weapons, but so long as those countries’ nuclear weapons programs remain in the state at which we are willing to freeze Iran’s, then those countries are still free to go about their business. Leaving Iran one year away from a weapon sends a message to every potential adversary without such a weapon that this is precisely where they must be.
In other words, this deal is not an antidote to proliferation; it is a road map and an impetus to the spread of near proliferation. Consequently, this deal could actually enhance the risk of proliferation. Moreover, it is extremely risky to prize the nuclear deal so highly that we do not take appropriate steps to blunt the greater regional threats posed by Tehran’s leaders – who seize every opportunity to remind us that neither their ideology nor their regional ambitions are showing any signs of changing. (Foreign Policy)