Trott, Schuette: Iran deal bad for America, its allies
The American people have deep concerns about President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. As Michigan’s only member of Congress on the Foreign Affairs Committee and a former member of Congress who served during the time that America prevailed in the Cold War, we understand these concerns and stand opposed to this misguided nuclear deal.
Any agreement with Iran must put a complete end to their nuclear program and stop Iran from being a threat to the United States and our allies. Regrettably, the Obama nuclear deal doesn’t do that. Instead it offers Iran major concessions in exchange for a mere slowdown in their nuclear ambitions. After carefully reviewing the nuclear deal, we have identified 10 key shortcomings that make this agreement dangerous and unacceptable.
1. President Obama’s nuclear deal was poorly negotiated from the beginning. The president treated Iran as an equal to the Unites States and did not even demand Iran release the four Americans being held captive there.
2. The deal leaves Iran only one step away from developing an atomic bomb. The rogue nation is not required to destroy its nuclear infrastructure, but instead only disconnect its centrifuges. If Iran cheats on the deal — as it has on every other agreement over the last 30 years — it will have atomic weapons in a matter of months.
3. Even if Iran abides by the terms of this deal, it will have a nuclear arsenal in just 10-plus years. In other words, Iran will be a member of the nuclear weapons club within our lifetime.
4. The Obama deal does not include the “anytime, anywhere” inspections promised to America by President Obama and the secretary of energy. The deal’s “managed access” is a convoluted, lengthy process that could take 24 days to approve — giving Iranians plenty of time to remove evidence or hide what they are working on.
5. The deal is predicated on a foreign policy view that assumes that by being nice America can reform the behavior of a rogue nation. It is a dangerous gamble. Iran remains the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism and has cheated on every agreement over the past 30 years.
6. The Obama nuclear deal provides the Iranian regime with billions of dollars in nearly immediate sanctions relief. If Iran cheats on the deal the process to put sanctions back into place is complex and would likely never happen.
7. President Obama is betting that the Iranian regime will use $50-$150 billion in sanctions relief to help its citizens and invest in much needed infrastructure projects — but it is much more likely Iran will use the money to perpetuate terrorism in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.
8. President Obama made a last-minute concession during the negotiations to allow Iran to purchase conventional arms in five years and ballistic missiles in eight years. This raises the serious concern that Russia and China will welcome the opportunity to sell arms to Iran — putting the United States and Israel in the crosshairs.
9. The deal will create instability throughout the world and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Turkey will seek to obtain a nuclear weapon as a result of this misguided deal.
10. The Obama administration has no incentive to report or call out violations of the agreement by Iran, because accusing the Iranian regime of cheating will be tantamount to admitting that it was a bad deal and that America should have never trusted Iran to start with.
The American people want to see a deal with Iran succeed. We want to see effective diplomacy. But that will only happen if there is a strong agreement which eliminates all pathways to a nuclear bomb.
We agree the best path forward would be for Congress to vote down this deal, bring Iran back to the table and negotiate an agreement that frees the Americans being held hostage, restores “anytime, anywhere” inspections, and calls for a complete dismantling of their atomic infrastructure. If Iran walks away from such an agreement, then we should ratchet up sanctions until they return to the negotiating table.
When it came to arms agreements during the Cold War, President Reagan said of the old Soviet Union, “trust, but verify.” Without good faith to ensure trust or verifications to ensure compliance, this agreement is a dangerous deal for America, Israel, and our allies. We don’t want history to have to prove it.
It’s time to put an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It’s time for a stronger agreement.
Congressman Dave Trott, R-Birmingham, represents the 11th District.
Bill Schuette is Michigan Attorney General.