Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, made a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute this past Tuesday. In the speech “[she] presented the administration’s argument that Iran was in violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the [2015 nuclear accord].”
Donald Trump has called the agreement with Iran “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Notwithstanding the certification by international inspectors that Iran was in compliance with the terms of the deal, the president has a greater mandate to ensure the national security of the US and to consider the larger picture of Iran’s behavior.
This picture reveals that Iran is testing missiles, fomenting violence in the Middle East and sponsoring terrorism, all items not addressed in the nuclear document. In this regard Trump will likely not certify compliance by Iran in the future, which he is required to do every six months. If this happens Congress must respond and could ramp up sanctions against Iran.
In her speech Haley indicated that inspectors only look at a small number of sites in Iran. There are many more military locations where Iran could be conducting prohibited activities related to its nuclear program. If inspectors request to visit a site not on the approved list, Iran can delay it for up to several weeks. Obviously they would clean up any unauthorized activities.
The Iran accord is reminiscent of the North Korean conundrum. For years North Korea made promises, signed agreements and cheated. Ultimately (now) North Korea has nuclear bombs and is on its way to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles that threaten South Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii and the continental US. It would be irresponsible to allow yet another rogue nation to develop existential weaponry.
In less than ten years Iran will be free to build a nuclear arsenal. The basis of the 2015 accord is therefore totally flawed. When the clock runs out Iran will be threatening the US, Israel and Sunni states the same way that North Korea does now.
What can we expect until Iran can produce nukes without restrictions? The Sunni nations, in particular Saudi Arabia, will develop or buy nuclear technology to counter Iran’s weaponry, and an arms race will be under way. It is mind-boggling to think that the region could be anymore dangerous than it already is, but it will be.
President Trump should react aggressively to Iran’s uncivilized, anti-social and bellicose activities. Virtually every action by Hezbollah and other anti-Sunni and anti-Semitic groups is being supported and financed by Iran. The conflict between Shiites and Sunnis continues to escalate, but now both sides will eventually have weapons of mass destruction.
Ms. Haley’s speech was a real eye opener for America. In essence she predicted Iran will soon join North Korea as another nuclear bully in just a few years.
The US has an opportunity to stop the proliferation of nukes and should enthusiastically do so.