Saturday, November 30th was a great day for watching college football, but while we were all glued to our TV sets, Secretary of State John Kerry along with diplomats from Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China (the P5+1 group) signed an agreement with Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program. This sounds like a good thing, but as a layman interested in world affairs and especially interested in the Middle East I decided to dig into it and form my own opinion. I have no real agenda except I want to see our homeland remain free and vibrant as a world power. I want my children and their children, etc., to be able to grow up with the liberty and freedom that I have enjoyed in my life.
First off, the premise of preventing Iran from continuing to develop nuclear weapons is a good one, but not everyone is happy about it. Two of the biggest opponents of the agreement are unlikely bedmates, Saudi Arabia and Israel. It appears that the only unanimously supportive group is Iranians, although both sides are claiming a victory. What’s going on here?
To set the stage – there are four key provisions of the deal:
- Iran will no longer enrich uranium to 5% U-235 and all 20% U-235 that they have stock piled has to blended down to 5% or less so it can not be used in weapons.
- Three-fourths of the centrifuges (used in the processing of uranium) at Fordow and half of the centrifuges at Natanz will be made inoperable. No additional centrifuges are to be installed.
- All work must stop on the heavy-water reactor at Arak that could be used to produce plutonium that could be used to make a different type of nuclear weapon.
- Allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors full access to all Iran’s nuclear facilities that includes daily visits to their Fordow and Natanz facilities as well as continuous camera surveillance of key sites.
What is this visibility costing the P5+1? The public press is that the group will release the economic sanctions that will provide $7 billion into Iran’s floundering economy – $4.5 will come from oil with the balance in coming in aid over the six months. I say the public press, because I have found where secret back room diplomatic negotiations have resulted in the release of prisoners from both sides – these releases included one of the top Iranian nuclear scientists, Mojtaba Atarodi, who was arrested in the US in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons. Interesting…
Iran is known to be a hotbed for radical terrorists and is given the right in the Quran to lie to infidels – all six countries involved in our side of this agreement are considered infidels. In reality, there are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya (saying something that is untrue) and kitman (lying by omission). These circumstances are typically those that will advance the cause Islam – in some cases, by gaining the trust of non-believers, in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them. Certainly, a nuclear armed Iran could and mostly likely would “advance the cause of Islam”.
Neither side trusts the other so the agreement is built on a shaky foundation. Iran has vowed to destroy Israel and have stated it publicly numerous times. Israel is witnessing their biggest ally, the United States, actively negotiating with their biggest enemy. Israel has committed to taking unilateral military action if the nuclear weapon development continues in Iran. We cannot trust them.
It’s obvious why Israel is opposed, but why Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia is the spiritual leader of Sunni while Iran is the leader of Shia Muslims – for more information on these two sects read my post on it, A Divided Islam.
Iranians are celebrating, and they see this as a victory for their president, Hassan Roubani, who ran for the position on restoring economic stability – primarily by having the sanctions removed. The sanctions were working. Iran is experiencing rampant inflation (30%) and unemployment (20%). The Iranian currency, the rial, has collapsed but has seen an immediate improvement this week since the agreement was signed. We clearly had our foot on their throats. I know there are millions of innocent people suffering as a result of these sanctions, but there was nothing built into the agreement to address the elephant in the room – terrorism. Iran has been identified by our State Department as an “active state sponsor for terrorism”- they have been the central banker for terrorist activities throughout the region.
Form your own opinions but dig into the facts. The fact, as I see it, is that this agreement does nothing to settle the Middle East but rather seems like it’s stirring it up. A nuclear-armed Iran is a dangerous proposition. I hope and pray that this agreement works but as you can see I have my doubts.