During the second week of July 2015, slightly past the set deadline for the negotiations between Iran and P5+1 to end, the two sides finally came to terms on a potential agreement that now has to be sanctioned by all the countries involved in the settlement.
After a period of about two years of negotiations between P5+1 (The five permanent members of the United Nations plus Germany,) and Iran a potential treaty has emerged that will allow Iran to develop and utilize atomic energy to produce essentially pollution free energy in its country but stop her from being able to produce an atomic bomb.
The nations that have been directly negotiating with Iran are China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. They all have permanent seats on the Security Council. The Plus 1 is Germany. These nations have been negotiating with Iran to keep her from developing her own atomic bomb, which Iran has continually stated she is not doing. But Iran has continually refused to allow inspections of all her possible sites. The fear is apparently that if Iran succeeds this will start the other Middle East nations doing the same thing and an arms race will result.
In July of 2006 China, Russia, and the United States joined with the other permanent members of the Security Council to expand harsh sanctions on Iran.
Under the terms of the agreement Iran will get rid of practically all its centrifuges that are used to enrich lower grade uranium and all of her enriched uranium and all regions within the entire country will be open for inspection. The agreement is over one hundred pages, detailing every possibility. As the treaty terms are carried out the sanctions by all these nations will be gradually lifted. If at any point or at any time Iran backs off its agreement the sanctions will be immediately re-imposed. This treaty is far more extensive than any previously agreement between nations during peacetime.
Among the numerous sanctions that will be gradually removed there is one that has been mentioned numerous times and that cannot be rescinded and that is the assorted Iranian government bank accounts that were frozen by the various industrial countries which Iran had originally dealt with. On November 4, 1979 the Iranian Hostage Crisis began. Sixty-six American diplomats and citizens were taken as hostages by Iranian students from the American Embassy in that country and held for four hundred forty-four days. Some were released earlier but fifty-two were held until January 20, 1981.
Oil exports from Iran to the U.S. ended November 12, 1979. President Jimmy Carter issued Executive Order #12170 which froze all Iranian assets in the U.S. on November 14, 1979 by the office of Foreign Assets Control. It was eight billion dollars. This money was in the hands of assorted banks and has gained interest since that time. Later the Iranian financial assets of many United Nation members were also frozen. According to Western financial experts the amount today is at least 100 billion dollars. The Iranian Finance Minister places it at 28 billion dollars. Either way this much money could noticeably raise the standard of living of all Iranian citizens. It could also be used to shore-up Hezbollah and other Shiite movements in the Middle East.
Another advantage, in this case to countries of the Western World, is that Iran rests upon ¼ of the world’s oil deposits. This resource would then be available to all the countries that had imposed sanctions upon Iran lowering the present price of oil that is currently under $50 dollars a barrel. This could substantially reduce the price of gasoline in all the western industrial nations and upset a number of bank executives in institutions where the money has been stored.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has opposed this treaty since its inception, calling it a bad deal. In fact, well before it was completed, with an invitation from the United States Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, he stated so to a joint session of Congress. He has, since the treaty has been agreed upon, reiterated this position, saying that the deal will enable Iran to develop its own atomic weapon.
Currently President Barak Obama has diplomats from the State Department in Israel reassuring Netanyahu that even with the treaty the United States is a closer ally of Israel than ever. Not everyone in Israel supports their Prime Minister’s position. I get the impression that Netanyahu would like to see Iran at war, preferably with the U.S., and certainly not with Israel. And in this way, see her ability to produce an atomic bomb totally destroyed. Is his position realistic? Certainly not in the long run.
Many Republicans have vociferously denounced the treaty without reading it as soon as its completion was announced. In fact many of them had done so well before it was completed. Scott Walker, the Republican 2016 presidential candidate from Wisconsin, stated in one of his primary speeches that he is willing to go to war with Iran as soon as he becomes president. The House of Representatives Republicans have threatened to pass a bill denouncing and invalidating the treaty. Interestingly the Constitution only gives the Senate the “advice and consent” powers. With the House of Representatives involved they would be stretching the Constitution and changing its definition of the government, changing the organization of the Federal Government by taking over a good percentage of the executive powers and making future presidents ceremonial figures. President Obama stated that if this were done and the bill was passed in Congress he would veto it. The Republicans do not have enough of a majority in either the House or Senate to override a veto and even if they did the issue would go before the Supreme Court and they would be forced to declare the law unconstitutional.
It should also be remembered that young Senator Tom Cotton, a Tea Party Republican who was elected from the state of Arkansas in 2014, and whose name sounds like that of a Disney character in a full length cartoon, wrote a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, that was also signed by 46 other Republican Senators, denouncing the negotiations and saying any settlement would cease to exist once President Obama’s term ended in 2016. Lately he has stated that the Secretary of State, John Kerry, sounds like Pontius Pilot.
Ted Cruz, who is currently not ranking very high in the national poles as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has stated on Tuesday, July 27, 2015, to reporters in Washington, D.C. that “millions of Americans will be murdered by radical zealots” if the treaty is approved. He also laid out a doomsday prediction that if Iran acquires an atomic bomb it will drop it over Tel Aviv. It seems that he feels he can clearly predict the future without any real evidence. It also seems that he has not read the treaty which according to President Obama will hamstrung Iran’s nuclear ability to produce an atomic bomb.
And by not signing the treaty the United States would be accelerating Iran’s ability to make a bomb. Also we have no control over the behavior of the other five nations that were negotiating with Iran and the probability is that some or all of them would go along with the treaty. The remaining sanctions would then be partial and frozen funds being held in these countries would then be released. There is also the possibility that the rigid boundaries imposed by this treaty would be relaxed if P5+1 is broken up. This could place Iran fairly close to developing its own atomic bomb.
Mike Huckabee, the former pastor, former Republican governor of Arkansas, former Fox News anchor, and former presidential candidate, is again running for the presidency in 2016. Saturday, June 26, 2015, Huckabee stated in an interview with a conservative news outlet that the nuclear agreement would be a bad deal for Israel and will “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” After facing intense criticism for this statement Huckabee refused to apologize for this remark. He further stated, “This president’s policy is the most reckless in American history. It is so naïve that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal.” At a later date Huckabee the 2016 Presidential candidate stated that the Iranians cannot be trusted to ever carry out an agreement. He implied that they would never carry out any treaty. I suspect that Mr. Huckabee would rather go to war with them.
Perhaps the greatest charlatan of the protesting Republicans is Donald Trump, whose father probable named him after his favorite Disney character. He has said that when he becomes president he is going to beat-up the world so that every nation and group within those nations will do what he, President Donald Trump, wants them to do. He has stated, among many other bits of idiocy that he feels sorry for ISS because of what he is going to do to them. Trump called the Iran deal “terrible,” on Tuesday, July 27, 2015. And he probably came to this conclusion without even reading the terms of the treaty. After all, it is over 100 pages long. He also said the President negotiated the agreement “from desperation.” It’s amazing how much innate knowledge these Republicans have with no facts to back their conclusions.
Trump also stated earlier: “First of all, we’re giving them billions in this deal, which we shouldn’t have given them. We should have kept the money.” Apparently he was referring to the gradual sanctions relief for Iran under the parameters of the agreement. “Second of all we have four prisoners over there. We should have said ‘Let the prisoners out. They shouldn’t be over there.” He also stated that any deal should also stipulate that inspectors have 24 hour immediate access to all nuclear sites in Iran.
Interestingly we’re not giving the Iranians any money. These were Iranian funds that were frozen in the United States during the 1980s and have gathered interest since then. The funds belong to the Iranians. They are their monies, held and used by American banks for profit since that time. This is also true for funds frozen in other countries.
One of the most important treaties in years, a document that could stabilize the Middle East and make the entire planet safer to live in, is being used as an attention-getter by Republicans, particularly by aspirants for the 1916 Presidential campaign. A large number of Republican hopefuls are competing to see who will be the Republican presidential candidate in 2016. To them nothing is more important than attracting Republican voter’s attention in the Republican primary elections and being chosen the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States. Anything that helps them achieve this goal, even if it means further destabilizing conditions in the Middle East and bringing about a war with Iran, is okay as long as they get chosen to become the Republican candidate for president in 2016.
It is important to remember that the current treaty is over 100 pages long. President Obama has urged everyone in Congress, particularly in the Senate, to read the treaty before deciding what to do. It needs a 2/3ds “advice and consent” vote from the Senate before it can go into effect. The treaty also needs the concurrence of the five other negotiating countries and of the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian Parliament
President Obama has given the Senate 60 days to study the treaty and vote upon it. It will take a 2/3 positive vote to pass. The probability is that if it is voted down the he will pass it as an agreement with another county by executive order. It could then be kept that way or re-voted upon by the next administration in 2016.
The President has stated innumerable times for everyone to read the treaty before evaluating it. He has also said that many of the Republicans who are loudly against it had very strongly advocated the invasion of Iraq to stop it from using its weapons of mass destruction that never existed. The members of Congress and particularly those in the Senate have sixty days to read the 100 plus pages that make up the treaty and then make up their minds whether to approve or disapprove it.
Presumably they can then give reasonable reasons for their decisions. Early in July of 2016 the major comments against it were: It’s not a good idea or a bad deal. Those are very generic and meaningless reasons. He has asked for alternative reasons. Scott Walker has proposed war as his alternative. Other Republicans have not stated this solution but have implied it in their rejection comments. Is this what the Republican Party wants? War with Iran? I suspect the other five United Nation members, who also negotiated this treaty, have different thoughts about it. The United States could end up standing alone against Iran. I would suspect that that is a position that Scott Walker nor any other possible Republican president would want to be in a position to cope with.
The one aspect of this agreement that no one seems to have made or considered is that with this treaty it will take Iran at least ten years to develop an atomic bomb. Ten years is a long time. Within that period, with no sanctions and utilizing its wealth in oil Iran will change or grow considerably. Its people will have better lives. Their standards of living and expectations will grow considerably. They will positively be connected to the rest of the world. In essence they will have no need of having any atomic bombs.
Still another consideration is that if they were to use atomic weapons then atomic weapons would be used against them. Even though Iran has four times the population of Iraq and is a much larger territory they could be totally destroyed as a nation if an atomic war broke out. And it is an open secret that Israel has had atomic bombs for a number of years. Also, perhaps the craziest nation in the world today that has atomic weapons is North Korea. They have not threatened anyone with their atomic weapons. North Korea having the bomb is the same as North Korea not having the bomb. It is a weapon that cannot be used because using it would be an act of suicide.