During the negotiations process, the Orthodox Union, together with our coalition partners, lobbied for a “good deal” with Iran, based on five key elements (see below). The current deal contains none of these elements in totality—and we expect that Iran is not likely to comply with the partial elements either. The deal allows the Iranian regime to emerge stronger and much harder to stop, when the terms of the deal end in 15 years. Take Action: Urge Congress to reject the bad nuclear deal with Iran.
How the Iranian Nuclear Deal Fails
An Insufficient Inspection Regime
- While negotiations were ongoing, the OU and our partners insisted that, given Iran’s record of duplicity, international inspectors must be able to go “anywhere anytime” to ensure Iran is not covertly violating a deal. Moreover, we were reassured by statements from officials such as Secretary of Energy Moniz that a deal, if concluded, would mandate anytime/anywhere inspections.
- While the deal’s terms do provide for continuous, real time monitoring of Iran’s known nuclear sites, the deal does not provide inspectors with immediate access to other sites, such as Iranian military bases or anywhere else, they might suspect and wish to investigate. In fact, upon a request to inspect such a site, Iran may demand to see the evidence of inspectors’ suspicions and what they seek to investigate; then delay access for at least another 24 days. Such a delay certainly provides Iran with sufficient time to conceal or remove some, if not all, aspect of activities that violate the terms of the deal.
Phased Sanction Relief
- The OU fought for a deal that would keep sanctions in place until Iran demonstrated compliance with its obligations and would contain immediate consequences for Iranian violations of the deal. The current deal provides near immediate sanctions relief, which would release up to $150 billion that Iran can use to fuel terrorism around the world.
- The deal does not specify consequences for “minor” violations and does not condition sanctions relief on Iranian cooperation with the IAEA. In addition, the limited “snapback” measures may not affect investments or contracts established with Iran, allowing Iran to make lucrative deals with countries and then violate the agreement without fear of retaliation.
“Answer the Mail” on “Possible Military Dimensions”
- The OU fought for a deal that would require Iran to provide the IAEA with a complete report of its nuclear history.
- Although the current deal specifies that Iran and the IAEA will follow a “roadmap” toward resolving all outstanding “PMD” issues by December 2015, this “roadmap” does not specify explicit consequences if Iran is not forthcoming or if the IAEA is unsatisfied. In addition, the deal is unclear on whether the IAEA will be allowed to inspect Iranian military facilities.
Dismantle Nuclear Weapons Infrastructure
- President Obama himself said that Iran doesn’t need the nuclear weapons infrastructure it currently possess “in order to have a peaceful nuclear program.” The current deal does not require Iran to dismantle any of its nuclear facilities.
- Under the deal, the infrastructure for the Arak heavy water reactor and the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz will remain intact. While some Iranian activities will be limited for 10-15 years, all impediments will be lifted when the deal expires.
- The OU fought for a deal that would never allow Iran to become a nuclear state— unless it clearly and convincingly demonstrated it is no longer seeking the ultimate weapon of destruction. We also fought for a deal that would last for decades in order to make a fundamental change in Iran’s stance toward nuclear weapons.
- The current deal merely postpones Iran’s nuclear future: it begins to lift key nuclear restrictions after eight years and provides for a stronger Iran to emerge in 15 years with a clear and legal path to the bomb.
What Happens if Congress Votes No
Throughout the Iran negotiations, the administration repeated that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” But the deal that was reached will allow Iran to legally achieve nuclear weapons capability and will strengthen Iran both economically and militarily. If Congress rejects this deal, it will be able to keep up the pressure on Iran and seek a better deal. Why Vote No? By voting against the deal, Congress would allow the United States to avoid the consequences of the current deal, including giving Iran a legal path to nuclear weapons and providing up to $150 billion to the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Congress Voting “No” Would Help Prevent:
- Legitimization of Iran as a legal nuclear threshold state in 15 years.
- The prospect of war—once it becomes clear that Iran can and will produce nuclear weapons and threaten to use them against other counties in the Middle East.
- A nuclear arms race in the Middle East—as other countries in the region would rush to begin “peaceful” nuclear programs.
- Increased Iranian support of terrorism, which would grow exponentially with the influx of billions of dollars from the sanctions relief provided in the deal.
- Negative relationships with Middle Eastern allies, most notably Israel, who feel directly threatened by the deal.
If Congress Votes No … By rejecting the deal, Congress will force the United States to maintain congressionally-enacted sanctions, which exacted enough pressure on the regime to bring it to the negotiation table. Keeping the sanctions intact will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. And the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires that Iran’s declared nuclear sites must undergo regular inspections by the IAEA. Rejecting the deal also would allow the United States to work with our allies in order to negotiate a better deal that will truly stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state, not merely push off and exacerbate the problem for 15 years. A better deal would include the OU’s five key elements, would prevent the dangerous allowances made by the current deal, and would work with Israel and other Middle Eastern allies to enhance regional security.
- OU Action Alert Urge Congress to Reject the Bad Nuclear Deal with Iran
- Iran deal’s inspections aren’t kosher, by Nathan Diament
- BESA Center – “The Vienna Accord Only Postpones Confrontation With Iran”
- White House – Remarks by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal
- Pew Research Center – “Iran Nuclear Agreement Meets With Public Skepticism”