He’ll get right on that, we’re sure.
Not news: Iran is already cheating on the nuclear agreement it signed with the United States. That’s been both expected and obvious since the day the agreement was signed, since it was clear from the word go that the Obama Administration would have no interest in ensuring compliance nor in imposing sanctions for noncompliance.
News: German intelligence has the details, and they’re extensive and explicit, and several Republican U.S. senators are doing what they can to hold the administration accountable for its negligence on the matter. Here’s the meat of a letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry by Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) that details what was found, and demands to know why nothing is being done about it:
As you know, last week Germany’s Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution stated, “[T]he illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.”2 The report continued, “Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.” 3
Separately, the annual report from the domestic intelligence agency in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it detected 141 procurement efforts in 2015 that were likely related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Roughly two-thirds of these procurement efforts were “attributed to Iranian programs,” an increase of roughly 50 percent from the year before.4 And, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate reported that Iran targeted German companies pursuing equipment for “atomic, biological, and chemical weapons” and goods which are relevant to “nuclear and missile delivery programs.”5
We were troubled to see how quickly both the White House and German officials rejected these suggestions that Iran might have violated the JCPOA or its implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231. While German officials have stated that illegal procurement efforts by Iran halted before the deal’s implementation, news reports indicate that such illegal procurements continued even through this year. 6 If these reports are true, would these procurement actions not clearly violate the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231? Can you confirm and corroborate these domestic intelligence reports from the German government, and have these procurement activities indeed continued in Germany as the Annual Report predicted?
Further, under the JCPOA, the supplier of sensitive or dual-use materials must have its government submit a proposal for the sale of any nuclear-related items to the United Nations Procurement Working Group. According to the German intelligence report, Iran did not seek approval for the technology it sought to procure. We respectfully request that you ask your German counterparts why the German government did not report Iran’s procurement requests or attempts to the working group.
According to reports published by the Institute for Science and International Security (the Institute), Iran had also sought to purchase “tons of controlled carbon fiber,” a material which could be used in making advanced centrifuge machines.7 These reports charged that Iran was trying to use China and other third party countries to purchase nuclear-related equipment.8 According to the Institute’s report, “This uptick in activity in China corresponds to a reduced emphasis on enforcement in the United States over alleged illegal Iranian procurement activities,” and further charges that over the past two years, “the Obama administration has inhibited federal investigations and prosecutions of alleged Iranian illegal procurement efforts.”9
Could you explain why such investigations and prosecutions of illegal Iranian procurement efforts have not taken place since the signing of the JCPOA, and why these violations have not resulted in severe and tangible punishments? If Iran is attempting to seek such materials outside of the Procurement Channel established by the JCPOA, why aren’t Iran’s attempts to violate the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231 treated as the transgressions that they are? We also encourage you to work with the JCPOA Joint Commission and U.N. Security Council to issue warnings to governments and suppliers and increase outreach to U.N. member states, alerting them to the possibility of Iran’s efforts to illicitly procure missile and nuclear-related goods—activities banned under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231.
So this will get the attention of the news media, whose coverage will pressure Kerry to take action and enforce the compliance elements of the Iran agreement, ensuring that Iran does not in fact product any nuclear weapons in violation of its pledge to the contrary.
Just kidding! Obviously that is not going to happen. Kerry will insist a) this is really not a violation; or b) it’s already being looked into; or c) there is a process and these nasty Republicans are actually mucking up the process with their demands; or d) shut up. Or all of the above.
The Obama Administration has basically functions as Iran’s lawyer throughout both the negotiation and execution of the agreement, twisting other nations’ leaders to trust the mad mullahs when common sense would suggest that is a very unwise thing to do. Obama and Kerry invested a good deal of their political capital in the notion that Iran could be totally trusted on this, and to do anything now that acknowledges Iran cheated – or that the U.S. needs to do something about that – would represent far too serious a concession to Obama’s and Kerry’s real enemies: Republicans.
Oh, and needless to say the lamestream media will ignore this as completely as they can. Their narrative is how “historic” the Iran deal is, not whether it can actually work. The piece of paper is all they care about – that and giving credit to their favorite president who came home waving it. Because pieces of paper signed by naive western heads of state and murderous thugs never fail to deliver what they promise.