Money for Nothing: It’s the cruelest of ironies that Iran is reaping huge rewards for giving up something it wasn’t supposed to be doing in the first place. Iran has accepted constraints on a nuclear program that over the past 10 years illegally and illicitly produced fissile material for a possible nuclear weapon and engaged at secret sites in what the IAEA has described as possible military dimensions of a nuclear program. In exchange for accepting constraints on this nuclear enterprize, Iran will receive billions in unfrozen oil revenues, begin to ramp up oil production and over time attract foreign investment likely to attract billions more.
Legitimacy for its Nuclear Program: Having stood in violation of at least six UN Security Council resolutions over the past decade, it’s a testament to the skills of Iranian negotiators that the agreement they produced wasn’t about ending the Iranian nuclear program but restricting it. And these restrictions aren’t permanent.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the document just sent to Congress is called, is an arms control accord, not a disarmament agreement. The time limits set in the accord suggest the action plan may be comprehensive but not the final result. Indeed Iran managed to not only to get the international community to acquiesce in its right to enrich uranium and to leave it over time with a significantly large nuclear infrastructure, but to phase out many of the accord’s most restrictive provisions by year 10 or 15.