The Ticking Iranian Nuclear Bomb: Daniel 8

Opinion: The ticking Iranian bomb

By VIKRAM MANSHARAMANI

Published: 3/8/2022 6:00:45 PM

Modified: 3/8/2022 6:00:11 PM

While the world has justly focused its attention on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, another problematic development is flying under the radar in Iran.

According to numerous American and international officials, the Islamic regime may soon receive tens of billions of dollars to supercharge their terrorism. When combined with the Iranian government’s clandestine nuclear program, chants of “death to America,” and stated hatred of Israel, this development represents a rapidly escalating and existential threat to U.S. interests.

A bit of history is useful here. In an effort to contain Iranian nuclear ambitions in 2015, President Barack Obama negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a horrible deal that fundamentally failed to address the problem of a nuclear Iran. First, it provided Iran a pathway to a nuclear bomb, albeit with years of delays. Second, America provided sanctions relief and, who could forget, literal pallets of cash to the Iranian regime. Lastly, the deal permitted the Islamic regime to continue their ballistic missile programs and turned a blind eye to their state sponsorship of terrorism and attacks on American soldiers in Iraq (efforts that have killed over 600 of our troops).

It’s worth acknowledging the foresight of Senator Tom Cotton, who, along with several dozen colleagues in the Senate, understood just how bad a deal President Obama was negotiating with the Iranians in 2015. In an open letter to the Iranian regime, he noted that the U.S. Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate to vote in favor of entering any new treaties, and barring such action, the deal would simply be a political agreement between Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. Cotton’s letter also appropriately noted that many U.S. senators would likely remain in office well beyond the 2016 American presidential election. The letter’s goal was simple: “to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

Cotton noted that a future president could exit any agreement “with the stroke of a pen,” something that President Trump did in 2018 to more effectively combat Iran’s funding of terrorism, hostage-taking and nuclear ambitions. Let’s not forget that Iran has directly funded the Houthis in Yemen, a terrorist group that has conducted drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and attacked the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, taking numerous staff as hostages. In fact, Iran has spent more than $16 billion since 2012 on support for terrorist proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

And within its own borders, Iran has an atrocious human rights record. According to Amnesty International, the regime’s security forces deploy unlawful force to crush protestors and use “enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment…with impunity on a widespread and systemic basis.” In November 2019, Iranian leaders murdered around 1,500 protesters who had taken to Iran’s streets. The regime’s regular violence against women and girls and their arbitrary imprisonment and torture of political dissidents occur alongside its brutal persecution of its domestic LGBTQ+ community.

Iran claimed it would release detained Americans as part of the JCPOA. Yet, on the 15th anniversary of the abduction of retired FBI agent and American patriot Bob Levinson, let’s consider Iran’s actions. Not only did they fail to release him, but it was also later revealed that Levinson most likely died in Iranian captivity. The Iranians have never revealed what happened to him or who in their government was responsible for his death. In the meantime, they’ve taken even more American hostages, hoping Biden will fork over even more money in return. That would be a dangerous mistake. Paying ransom to terrorists in exchange for hostages is likely to result in more innocent Americans being taken captive.

Let me be crystal clear: Iran is a direct and immediate threat to U.S. interests. The Islamic regime has proceeded to enrich uranium to a level that Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, says “has no justification for civilian purposes” and is only needed for nuclear weapons. Further, the Department of Justice revealed this year that Iranian agents were plotting to kidnap and rendition an American citizen from her home in Brooklyn.

And the regime continues to plot assassination attempts against senior U.S. government officials — on American soil. Let’s also not forget that Iran was crowing as recently as 2019 that its “technological advances” would soon make their goal of “wiping Israel from the map” attainable. It can’t be surprising that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently warned that a renewed Iran nuclear deal would result in a “more violent, more volatile Middle East.”

Yet, the Biden administration is apparently seeking to restore the JCPOA. According to various press reports and information shared by Gabriel Noronha, a former State Department official who focused on Iran, career government officials are so concerned with the concessions made during negotiations that they have disclosed details of the potential deal “in the hopes that Congress will act to stop the capitulation.” The contemplated deal offers Iran jaw-dropping sanctions relief and a path to a nuclear bomb. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know this makes no sense.

One of the architects of the original JCPOA was John Kerry. As Kerry has recently made clear, global developments risk distracting us from supposedly “existential” risks such as climate change. Perhaps the Biden administration’s quest for a supposed “diplomatic win” (and the prospect of Iranian oil to ease pain at the U.S. pump) is distracting them from the fact that they would be enabling a nuclear Iran, funding terrorist groups, skirting U.S. laws that require Senate consent, and selling out Israel and America in the process?

We need to stop wasting time trying to restore a bad deal. As Mike Pompeo has summarized, “lifting sanctions on the Iranian terrorists will bring more war and more terror. It will not stop the Iranian nuclear program. A wealthy Iran will continue to kill around the world, even here at home.” The only death America should enable is that of this deal.

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