Chong: Flexibility of Iran deal overlooks potential threats

The United States Senate upheld the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday Sept. 10 largely due to a Democratic filibuster. The very next day, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted against the deal. While the House vote does not prevent the deal’s implementation, it does reflect substantial opposition from the Democrats in the House—25 Democratic representatives voted against the deal. President Barack Obama—who has struggled to gain congressional support in the past—personally called 57 House Democrats in an aggressive lobbying attempt.

The Iran nuclear deal calls for the demilitarization of Iran’s nuclear weapons by transforming their main nuclear facility into a research center. In addition, Iran would decrease its number of centrifuges from 20,000 to 6,104 over the next 10 years.

In order to be sure Iran abides by the agreement, the U.S. will be sending troops to monitor these sites. In return, the U.S. will lift an economic sanction, providing billions of dollars in relief to Iran.

There are several major flaws to this deal. First, the nuclear facility is not completely eliminated—rather, it is just being transformed into a research-based facility. While the major downsize will delay the production of nuclear weapons if Iran were to disregard the deal, they will still have the means to do so.

Second, the Iranian government can delay inspections on the facilities by 24 days, giving the country a sufficient amount of time to hide evidence of nuclear building activity from inspectors.

Third, the deal is good for only the next 10 years. Although this will delay Iran from producing nuclear weapons, it does not actually solve the problem in the long run. It is estimated that Iran will be rewarded with over $100 billion in economic relief from sanctions being lifted, thus fueling the anti-American Iranian regime in the upcoming decade.

Observers have praised Obama for finally bringing an end to negotiations and for preventing a possible war between the U.S. and Iran. Others criticize him for making the conditions of the agreement too lenient for Iran. When it comes to the issue of nuclear weapons, Obama should take a no-tolerance approach. Instead, Obama backed down and gave Iran a deal that gives them a big economic upside.

It will be the first time in years that the U.S. and Iran are cooperating due to the promise of peace and economic stability. What Obama has chosen to ignore, however, is the fact that given the country’s long history of violence, Iran is more than likely to disregard the terms of the agreement—especially when the terms give Iran much freedom to cheat.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently made a speech stating that there will be “no such thing as Israel” in 25 years. “Death to America” chants—supported by Khamenei—also flooded the streets of Iran during the nuclear deal talks. Giving Iran a flexible agreement is beyond dangerous—it’s enabling.

In his haste to pass the deal, Obama made the grave mistake of indirectly supporting a terrorist regime in the Middle East. For the rest of our lives, we will be living under the constant threat of a nuclear war because of the passing of this deal.