(Chicago Tribune/TNS) – The national security consequences of the recently announced nuclear deal with Iran will haunt America for generations if Congress does not stop it. The Iranians, Bashar Assad in Syria and Vladimir Putin are loudly celebrating the deal as a triumph, while our friends and allies in Israel are feeling abandoned. This tells us everything we need to know about whether the agreement will make the world a safer place.
Far from blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, this historically bad deal preserves and legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program while providing Iran’s illicit nuclear pursuit with the international stamp of approval that its leaders have so desperately been seeking. This newly conferred legitimacy is even more troubling considering that Iran continues to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terror around the globe.
Although the administration has repeatedly claimed to believe that no deal is better than a bad deal, its actions say otherwise. The measure of success in diplomacy isn’t simply whether any agreement is reached, it’s whether a good agreement is achieved. Unfortunately, the administration arrived at this deal through a parade of dangerous concessions, which have prevented us from achieving our goal of dismantling Iran’s illicit nuclear program. The world is a more dangerous place today as a result.
Having reviewed the details of the agreement, I am alarmed to see that the deal is built upon a sure-to-fail inspections and verification regime that inherently relies on trusting the Iranians. Far from allowing for “anytime, anywhere” inspections of suspected nuclear sites, this agreement allows Iran a say in its own inspections and a 24-day notice period in which Iran can manipulate and clean up any site before inspectors arrive.
Further, the deal trades permanent sanctions relief for temporary limitations on nuclear development that will expire in 15 years. While the administration argues that this deal blocks Iran’s path to the bomb, the reality is that this deal preserves Iran’s enrichment rights, allows Iran continuous research and development on any type of centrifuge, and includes sunset provisions that remove necessary limitations on production.
By proving that aggression and defiance will be rewarded, this agreement makes armed conflict more likely. The deal will usher in a terrifying new era of proliferation in which neighboring nations feel no choice but to build nuclear programs of their own, while the massive sanctions relief in the deal will provide Iran with hundreds of billions of dollars to fund terrorism around the globe, prop up its proxies like Assad in Syria and launch brutal attacks on Israel.
We know that there will be a relentless public relations offensive by this administration to try to sell the agreement and frame it with false choices. However, we have an obligation to stand up and speak the truth. The administration is gravely mistaken if it thinks we will stand idly by and allow ourselves to be bullied into blindly accepting this deal.
With the help of all Americans dedicated to this historic call of preventing Iran from having any path to a nuclear weapon, Congress can and must step forward to reject this agreement.
Robert Dold, a Republican, represents the 10th Congressional District of Illinois.