Obama creates path for a nuclear Iran

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here it is:

While political pundits and talking heads posing as serious people passionately debated whether or not Ted Cruz should have endorsed Donald Trump last week, we learned that the deal our current president made with Iran had secret provisions that made a dangerous deal even more perilous.

Given the fact that virtually every foreign policy initiative by President Barack Obama has ended in disaster (Libya, ISIS, Iraq, Russia, Ukraine, Boko Haram, etc.), he set out to solve one of our nation’s most enduring and difficult foreign policy problems: Iran. For years, America has sought to curb the nuclear ambitions of terrorist-supporting Iran by isolating it through sanctions and pressure through international organizations.

Obama told us there was a better way. He engaged Iran in talks and ended up with an agreement he said would protect the world from a nuclear Iran for generations to come. He was wrong at the time and the recent revelations show he might have actually accelerated Iran’s nuclear program.

Up until last year, Iran was on the proverbial ropes. International sanctions drastically limited its ability to sell its primary export, oil, on the world market and the collapse in the price of oil was further hurting its economy. This drastically limited the influx of hard currency into Iran and made it tough for it to fund its nuclear ambitions. Obama changed all of that. In exchange for Iran’s promise to cut back the number of centrifuges to a few older models, ship some of its enriched uranium out of the country and allow international inspectors, Obama lifted the sanctions to allow billions of dollars to flow into Iran and released millions more in Iranian funds that were frozen since Iran tookAmerican hostages.

Obama soothed Americans by promising, “We have now cut off every single path that Iran could have used to build a bomb.” That was a lie before we knew of the secret side deal.

The core problem with the deal is it requires that Iran will live up to its promises despite decades of provocations, funding of terrorists, creating fake companies to get around sanctions, stonewalling inspectors and lying about its nuclear program. Indeed, in the few months since the deal was signed, Iran has stonewalled more inspectors and been implicated in cyber attacks on American infrastructure.

But even if one lives in Obama’s fantasy world where Iran can be trusted, he cut a side deal, giving Iran a faster path to a nuclear weapon. According to a report by the Associated Press, the secret side deal allows Iran to begin replacing its old, less-efficient centrifuges with far more advanced centrifuges after 10 years. While Iran will still have fewer centrifuges than it does now, the newer models will allow it to enrich uranium at more than twice the rate that it can do now. This would reduce its breakout time — the time it would take to create enough enriched uranium to make a bomb — from the current estimate of a year to less than six months.

This means that Obama’s deal with Iran lifts sanctions allowing Iran to bring in billions of dollars to fund its nuclear ambitions for the next decade, and then use the money to buy equipment that can create a nuclear weapon faster than it can now. And that assumes Iran abides by the agreement and does not start installing more-advanced centrifuges even sooner.

Despite Obama’s assurances he has “cut off every single path that Iran could have used to build a bomb,” he has made America and the world less safe by actually allowing Iran access to the money and equipment necessary to enter the nuclear club even sooner.