Iran Vows to Flaunt International Weapons Restrictions
According to a new translation report from the CIA’s Open Source Center, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has assured his countrymen that his government will not abide by UN restrictions on their ballistic missile program. In a speech delivered on August 29, Rouhani said, “We have formally announced that we are not committed to these provisions mentioned in the UN resolution.”
Rouhani went on to claim that violations of these restrictions would have no effect on the nuclear deal Iran is set to sign with international negotiators. “We have explained that a violation of the UN resolution does not mean violation of the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].”
An uninformed observer, of course, would regard this as political bluster, but the truth is that he’s absolutely right. The accord specifically gives Iran the freedom to violate ballistic missile bans without fear of reprisal. This, despite the fact that many critics of the deal warn that Iran needs only to wait out the time frame of the agreement before fitting a stockpile of conventional weaponry with nuclear warheads. And despite the fact that lead U.S. negotiators testified last year that the subject of Iran’s ballistic missile program “has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.”
Rouhani’s chilling statement comes as President Obama secured the last of the 34 votes he needs to make sure his congressional opponents can’t sink the deal. Republicans and some Senate Democrats have vowed to strike down any agreement that lifts sanctions on the Islamic Republic, but a vote against the president will now be merely symbolic.
Obama appears to be turning his attention towards appeasing Israel, where there is considerable outrage and fear regarding Iran’s path to the bomb. The U.S. is expected to offer a broad package of security enhancements to our Middle Eastern allies, including a stronger U.S. military presence in the region. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unlikely to look this gift horse in the mouth, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee says that consolation prizes don’t make the deal any better. In a memo, the group said:
The administration has tried to reassure those concerned by the dangerous consequences of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in two ways: by pledging increased support for Israel and our Gulf allies and by vowing that it will strictly enforce the deal. Neither approach will repair the deal’s fatal flaw: it legitimizes Iran as a nuclear-threshold state in 15 years.
But apparently those assurances were enough for at least 34 Senate Democrats. One wonders whether or not those Democrats will be available for comment when the ramifications of this disaster come to pass.