Op-Ed: An Open Letter to the President on the Nuclear Deal

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A Zionist Organization of America board member questions President Barack Obama's reasons for supporting the nuclear deal with Iran.

Dear President Obama:
 
I appreciate the blast email you sent wanting me to understand exactly what is included in your deal to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. But I do have some concerns.
 
You say “spent fuel” from the Arak reactor will be shipped out of Iran, which is a good thing. But I understand Iran refuses to ship out its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is not a good thing. The best you offer is that it will “neutralize” a vast majority of it, which means a stockpile of enriched uranium will be maintained on Iranian soil. Why are you allowing that?
 
You say two-thirds of its installed centrifuges will no longer enrich uranium, which means one-third of its centrifuges will continue enriching uranium. I understand this equals 5,060 centrifuges.
 
So by your own admission, Iran will maintain a stockpile of active uranium and thousands of centrifuges will continue enriching uranium. In 10 years, its most advanced centrifuges will be able to enrich uranium. How is Israel expected to prepare for Iran’s ability to continue its uranium regime over the next 10 years?
 
I’m also having difficulty with the touting of your inspection clause. Words like “robust,” “intrusive,” “transparency” and “unprecedented access” are meaningless when surprise inspections are off the table. And wasn’t this tried previously by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose members were unable to certify that all nuclear material in Iran is being used for peaceful purposes?
 
It also said that only one of its 12 queries to Iran had been even answered. Mr. President, not to be disrespectful, but are you trying to kid yourself, or us?
 
While your shortest paragraph tries to comfort, it is actually the most frightening. “If Iran cheats, the world will know.” And then what? Doesn’t the world know that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism? Doesn’t the world know that Iran supplies arms to Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria? Wreak havoc in Iraq, Yemen? What does the world do about that? The mere fact that this deal does not foreclose Iran’s ability to cheat is extremely problematic. 
 
In exchange, you are agreeing to release Iran from almost all sanctions over a brief period of time, but you assure us they can be “snapped back,” like Legos. 
 
But isn’t it true that Russia, China and all the other P5 +1 parties may not be so snappy to comply? What would happen then?  Iran continues to cheat — i.e., move closer to getting a nuclear weapon — while you guys deliberate? How “historic” would that turn out?
 
You say this agreement to relieve Iran of nuclear weapons sanctions doesn’t apply to the sanctions imposed on Iran for its terrorist and human rights abuses. Could you please explain the difference between nuclear weapons sanctions and terrorism/human rights sanctions? Can you please tell us how effective our terrorism/human rights sanctions have been?
 
Has it slowed Iran’s terrorist activities and human rights abuses one iota? Could the relief of nuclear weapons sanctions be used to compensate for the imposed terrorism/human rights sanctions? I’m just asking.
 
There’s one more thing. If your deal is so historic, why are Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and our Congress so skeptical about it? If your deal is the best that could possibly be achieved, why not convince Congress of that and let Congress decide whether the United States should go forward with it or not?
 
Why are you first going to the United Nations and not to the folks who represent our nation — our Congress? Do you know what I think? It’s because you don’t have faith in it yourself. And that’s what makes it so historic.
 
Leonard Getz is a board member of the Zionist Organization of America, both locally and nationally.
 
 

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