The New Iran Treaty


#301

Cruz is former prosecuting attorney and I imagine he was pretty good at his job. It is gotcha moment, but as I said Sen. Cruz scored debate points. and that 10 second clip between Johnson and Moniz would make a good ad, if you were trying to show Obama has a bunch of bozo negotiating the deal.

But again, it’s only “valuable” in a vacuum, and can be found to be intentionally misleading with only trivial investigation.

Like I said, it’s really only useful for convincing people who already hold that position. It’s just echo chamber nonsense.

As an aside . Sen Johnson asked some good question of Sec. Kerry in particular about if this is such a big important deal, how come this isn’t a treaty or at least requires and up or down vote (like the Fast track treaty.)

I honestly haven’t seen any coherent argument about why it’s not a treaty, other than “Because Congress wouldn’t ratify it”. But that’s not really a legitimate reason.


#302

#303

#304

Pfft, what do those guys know.


#305

Probably going to disapprove this then have enough Dems for the veto.

Then if something goes south, the Republicans can say they were against it from the get go.


#306

Pretty good letter there. Hard to “support the troops” by disagreeing with “The troops”.


#307

Sure you can. Just point out that other troops aren’t enthusiastic supporters. Then one can cherry pick which troops to support in their support!

https://www.algemeiner.com/2015/08/18/u-s-centcom-commanders-conspicuously-refrain-from-taking-sides-in-iran-deal-debate/

I think it’s a great letter myself, but it’s not going to be super persuasive since opponents of the deal can surely dig up some military personnel to condemn it at need.


#308

#309

Well, in fairness, I always take the old “Some retired military guy says X” with a grain of salt. There are a ton of retired military guys, and not all of their experience is always up to date and relevant.

That list has some serious business guys on it though, and the argument they make is fairly concise and easy to understand.


#310

Ok, this seems really bad.

Apparently, the IAEA has side agreements with Iran which are not publicly disclosed involving the inspections. One which has surfaced states that Iran will be performing the inspections on its Parchin facility using its own personnel.

I don’t see how this is anything other than terrible.


#311

Max Fisher is not impressed by the AP article. I don’t know whether it’s a big deal or not. I do remember this quote:

“This came down to a pissing contest about whether or not we could go walk into Parchin, which is irrelevant,” Aaron Stein, an arms control and Middle East scholar, told me last month about the negotiations over PMD and Parchin. “In the deal they’re going to give managed access to Parchin, and you know what? We’re going to lose on this because they’re not going to find anything at Parchin. All of this will come down to nothing.”

I guess it comes down to whether they are actually running anything at that base. The belief was that it was shut down 10 years ago, and was used for explosives testing, not nuclear material but the explosives to trigger it.


#312

The IAEA has specifically wanted to investigate that facility though, and the idea that the result is that Iran will inspect it THEMSELVES is nonsensical. At that point, the inspection itself serves no purpose. Why even bother doing an inspection at all?


#313

I don’t think that the inspection of this particular site has high utility either way, but it seems to be mostly a point of pride on both sides. They are supposed to gather the soil samples, photographs, etc. so that is verifiable that they taken at that time and location. I don’t know how they would do that though.

The only thing that counts in the end is how this affects the risk that Iran could build a bomb on the sly. The experts don’t seem to consider this particular site an important factor in that calculation, but I would be more comfortable if I knew more about why they don’t consider this important.


#314

When it sounds too dumb to believe, don’t be so quick to believe it.


#315

You can just feel the butt hurt. I love the suggestion that McConnell should start impeachment proceedings against every govt official who testified favorably on the Iran deal. That’s some good use of govt resources, not like a banana republic at all.


#316

The guy with a gun for his handle is amusing in how totally crazy he is. He’s basically everything that is wrong with the Republican party.


#317

Maybe.

I thought the idea that inspections would require multi-day notice was also nonsensical, that it would allow the Iranians to simply move everything out of a particular facility prior to the inspector’s arrival. That’s just common sense. Then, we learned from the experts that this was actually fine, and there is no way to hide the trace evidence.

This may be a similar situation. I think we’ve already learned that common sense doesn’t necessarily apply to nuclear weapons inspection techniques. I’m inclined to give the IAEA the benefit of the doubt here, at least until their experts start complaining that they can’t perform the job because of either restrictions in the treaty or Iranian intransigence. I can understand how opinions on this would differ, though.


#318

Yeah, i don’t have any trouble with giving notice due to the impossibility of removing trace radioactive evidence. But allowing Iranians to perform really any aspect of the inspection process seems wrongheaded.

Now, it seems like this maybe isn’t exactly what will occur, but it still seems worrisome.


#319

Not every thing involved with a building nuclear weapons involves radioactive material. So for instance of one the more technically challenging parts of building an atomic bomb is the shaped explosive charges which compress the radioactive in material in order to achieve critical mass. No radioactive material needs to be present when conducting these test. With several weeks lead time it is certainly easy to re purpose these facilities.

Even more problematic is the binary nature of the so called snap back sanction. Imagine the case where the IAEA does have suspicious, they work the inspection regime process and several weeks go by and the gain access to the suspicious facilties… The inspector detect trace amounts of radioactivity. I suspect contrary to the assurance of Sec. Kerry, detection of trace amount of radiation is not definitive proof of nuclear weapon research. I am sure both Russia, Iran and probably China will trot out nuclear scientist to provide alternative explanation for why they are are few nanocuries of a particularly isotope in a soil sample . The delay between the inspection request and inspection execution provides plenty of time for Iran to get rid of any physical evidence.

While it is true that neither China nor Russia can use their veto power to stop sanctions. It is unclear how the US can reimpose them. Exactly what this process is seems to be the subject of debate among international lawyers,my reading of the dispute resolution process is we have to convince a majority of the JCPOA that Iran isn’t complying. It is also problematic if we will. Are we really going to piss off everybody and bring back sanction on Iran on some ambiguous violation? I’m doubting even President Trump (perish the thought) would do so.

In the past countries that were sincere like South Africa and Libya about stopping their weapons programs in return for having sanctions being lifted submitted to any time any place inspection. In country like North Korea,that weren’t serious, they gained temporary relief from sanctions, until they kicked out the inspectors.

In case of Iraq, minor violations generally cause additional sanctions, or airstrikes. When Iraq kicked out the inspectors Bill Clinton launched a massive air campaign. None of those options are available in the case of Iran. It seems almost certain that a significant amount of cheating will be tolerated by Iran and they benefit significantly from lifting of sanctions.

The absurdity of allowing Iran to self inspect military facilities is self evident.


#320

Well, looks like the deal is going to stay in place.
I expect to see folks freaking the fuck out on Fox news now.