Good news: U.S. may lift sanctions before confirming Iran's previous work on nuclear weapons

Remember, the only reason this appalling sellout will have the color of law in the U.S. is because Bob Corker, McConnell, and the Senate GOP willingly surrendered their leverage over the deal. You sent these suckers to Congress to stop Obama. This is how they’ve repaid you.

How quickly Iran could build a bomb if it decided to “break out” and start highly enriching uranium depends in part on how much research they’ve already done. What have they learned about bomb-making over the past 20 years? Shouldn’t they be required to let the UN know that before we jumpstart their economy, giving our friends Assad and Hezbollah a shot in the arm on the battlefield? Nope, says John Kerry. U.S. intelligence already knows how much Iran knows. Because if there’s one lesson to glean from the past 12 years of Middle Eastern history, it’s that you can take American assessments of rogue powers’ WMD capabilities to the bank.

In his first State Department news conference since breaking his leg last month in a bicycling accident, Mr. Kerry suggested major sanctions might be lifted long before international inspectors get definitive answers to their longstanding questions about Iranian experiments and nuclear design work that appeared aimed at developing a bomb. The sanctions block oil sales and financial transfers.

“We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another,” said Mr. Kerry, who appeared by video from Boston. Instead, he said: “It’s critical to us to know that going forward, those activities have been stopped, and that we can account for that in a legitimate way. That clearly is one of the requirements in our judgment for what has to be achieved in order to have a legitimate agreement.”…

“It looks like a weakening of the United States’ prior position, or at least laying the initial basis for a weakening later,” said David Albright, the president of the Institution for Science and International Security.

“If the U.S. government knows so much about Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Mr. Albright added, it “should publish openly a detailed history of Iran’s nuclear program, including names, dates, activities and places.”

Does the “fact sheet” that the U.S. put out in April after reaching a framework deal with Iran address this? Sort of: As with most provisions of the fact sheet, it’s scrupulously vague on what Iran did and didn’t actually agree to do.


The IAEA does in fact have “concerns” about Iran’s previous nuclear research. Elsewhere the fact sheet states that Iran will receive sanctions relief “if it verifiably abides by its commitments.” In other words, the framework deal implies (without explicitly stating) that Iran needs to cough up this information as part of its duties under the deal before they get money. And now here we are, with Obama and Kerry backpedaling, and our moronic Team GOP with no way to stop them.

The theory on why we shouldn’t demand an accounting of Iran’s past nuclear research is that it’s simply too high an ask, a term they’ll never agree to and therefore a potential dealbreaker. They’d lose too much face at home if they gave in on that and they could put their nuclear researchers in Israel’s crosshairs by giving up the names. Why can’t they do it covertly, though, with the names redacted? Even having imperfect information on how much they know about making bombs is better than nothing. Here’s an alternate theory: Maybe the U.S. isn’t pressing Iran to disclose this because, once it’s out, Sunni powers in the region will take it as license to conduct their own research programs up to the same point. If Iran can, say, test bomb trigger mechanisms and still reach a nuclear detente with the west, why should Saudi Arabia be penalized at all for ramping its own program up to the same stage? Plus, if it turns out Iran’s bomb program is much farther along than the U.S. suspected, then it’s another debacle for U.S. intelligence and a potentially huge embarrassment for Obama on the eve of signing the final deal. If you think O’s taking heat from the GOP now, imagine if Iran confirmed that it already has the know-how to build a miniaturized warhead capable of being seated in an ICBM. As far as the White House is concerned, the less the public knows about what Iran knows, the better.