Why Renegotiate the Iran Agreement?

Published on Oct 16, 2017 · 1 day ago

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Is it realistic to try to deal with the flaws in the Iran agreement and change them? In fact, there’s precedent for it. In 1979, the Carter Administration negotiated the SALT-2 treaty with the Soviet Union. Whereas the Iran agreement was never a formal treaty, SALT-2 was a negotiated treaty.

But the SALT-2 treaty was flawed. It did not adequately address the arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It put a limit on the growth of the nuclear forces of the two superpowers, but it didn’t reduce them.

Subsequently, however, a new administration came into power under President Ronald Reagan and he decided a different approach was necessary. It was called START – strategic arms reduction talks. Rather than limiting the growth of nuclear weapons, it reduced them, and this became the preferred approach.

During the last few weeks a number of flaws in the Iran agreement have come out, but the one that received the most focus was “Section T” of the JCPOA. What Section T tries to do is define activities in the area of weaponization that are prohibited. But, of course, Iran has not allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency or anyone to do proper verification to see that Section T in the Iran agreement has been addressed by them.

This is a huge flaw. One has to remember that in the May 2011 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are frightening details about the Iranian nuclear program that include weaponization activities. It says that the Iranians were conducting design work and modeling studies involving the removal of the conventional explosive payload from the warhead of a Shahab-3 missile and replacing it with a spherical nuclear payload.

Presently, President Trump’s strategy to reopen the Iran agreement to remove the flaws and produce an agreement that will safely protect the interests of the West is the only reasonable approach.

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Ambassador Dore Gold has served as President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs since 2000. From June 2015 until October 2016 he served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN (1997-1999), and as an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

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“Diplomatic Dispatch” is a new series of video briefings on strategic issues that Israel faces today by Jerusalem Center President Dore Gold, produced by the Center’s Institute for Contemporary Affairs, founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation.

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