"[Obama] is willing to grant Iran access to funds that equate to about 10% of its GDP just for signing a deal. That percentage boost is equivalent to a $1.7 trillion injection into the U.S. economy today (which is twice the dollar amount of the 2009 stimulus package)," explains JINSA CEO Michael Makovsky.
The recently-announced Iran-P5+1 framework agreement raises as many questions as it answers - both political and technical - when it comes to securing an acceptable final deal that prevents a nuclear-capable Iran. The Iran Task Force at JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy held a panel discussion on April 13, 2015, to discuss its report assessing the outcome of negotiations thus far and next steps for the Administration and Congress.
Is President Barack Obama right that the so-called framework nuclear agreement with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) announced on April 2, will “cut off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon”? Some will assess the truth of his statement by crunching the centrifuge and uranium stockpile numbers. However vital such analysis will be, it is important not to lose sight of the nuke for the centrifuges.
Last month JINSA’s Gemunder Center Iran Task Force released a report detailing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program that need to be resolved to ensure an acceptable final deal. With the April 2 announcement of a framework for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), it is now important to assess whether these concerns have been addressed. This is necessary to determine which issues remain to be settled if the United States hopes to secure a deal that prevents a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.
Experts on intelligence matters in the United States are brushing off last week's allegations from anonymous Obama administration sources alleging Israeli espionage concerning the multilateral nuclear negotiations. Scholars such as Michael Makovsky at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) dismissed the allegations, first published in The Wall Street Journal, and accusations that Israel was feeding illicitly obtained information to lawmakers on Capitol Hill as nothing more than normal behavior hyped by the White House to besmirch the Jewish state.
News reports over the past few days have featured a string of once unimaginable concessions from the P5+1 in the Iran nuclear talks. (One can imagine the French are feeding the media a steady diet of leaks. It is the French who have expressed the most concern about the bonanza of concessions, so leaks and ensuing public outrage is an understandable strategy if one is trying to stop a bad deal.)
At times President Obama sounds almost incoherent on Iran. On one hand he says, like the Israeli prime minister, that he does not see a peace deal in the near future. ("What we can't do is pretend that there's a possibility for something that's not there. And we can't continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years.") So they are on the same page? Nope.
David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and recently concluded an almost ten-month stint as a senior advisor on Secretary of State Kerry's peace team.
03/25/2015 - 1:48pm
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
1307 New York Ave., NW, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005