The Insanity of the Iran Nuclear Deal

The Insanity of the Iran Nuclear Deal

An often misattributed quote to Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that account, the Iran nuclear deal was insane. 

But now leading politicians are dipping their toes back into the insanity well, pledging to revive the Iran deal. Perhaps they need a refresher course on history. Allow us to be of service.

We can all agree that the goal of eliminating Iran’s nuclear capabilities is a worthy one. The question is whether the Iran deal as it was written and implemented brings us closer or further away from that goal. 

During her time at the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley explained that every international agreement must be judged by the willingness and sincerity of the countries that sign it. We should look at a regime’s history – its words, its actions, and its ideology – to make an educated assessment of its intent.

As Amb. Haley delineated in a 2017 speech to the American Enterprise Institute, we must ask ourselves:

  • Does Iran respect international law?
  • Can Iran be trusted to abide by its commitments?
  • Is the agreement strong enough to withstand Iranian efforts to cheat?
  • And finally, given the answers to these questions, does the deal remain in the national security interests of the United States?

The answer to all four questions was and remains an unambiguous no.

Iran has repeatedly flouted international agreements and resolutions and sought to build a secret nuclear program. In 2002, Iranian dissidents revealed a uranium enrichment plant and heavy water reactor in violation of Iran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In 2009, U.S., British, and French intelligence uncovered a secret uranium enrichment plant. In February of 2016 – after the Iran deal had been signed – Iran exceeded the allowed limit on heavy water. The same thing happened again nine months later. 

At the same time, Iran flagrantly violated U.N. Security Council resolutions by launching long-range ballistic missiles and surface-to-surface missiles. Just a few weeks ago, Fox News revealed that the German government had refused to divulge Iranian attempts to acquire illegal nuclear weapons and rocket technology.

Finally, we must remember that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Under the aegis of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran created the Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah, which is responsible for killing thousands of civilians, including hundreds of Americans. Iran is the primary backer of Assad in Syria and has targeted American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. From Lebanon to Argentina to Saudi Arabia to Israel to Iraq and Syria – Iran has wreaked havoc and bloodshed in its wake. 

It should be obvious that we are dealing with a regime that doesn’t respect international law, human rights, or human life. Throughout recent history, Iran has repeatedly sought to overturn the international order. 

These facts and this record are not in dispute. So, we need to ask ourselves: Why would we trust a regime that repeatedly lies, cheats, and kills? What sane reason do we have to trust Iran? And given these facts, what happens under the Iran deal when Iran inevitably cheats? 

The Iran deal as it was written lacked the necessary inspection system and enforcement mechanisms to hold Iran accountable – not surprising considering the Obama administration caved to Iranian demands time and again. The IAEA was not given free access to inspect Iranian facilities, and Iranian leaders publicly acknowledged they would not allow inspections of their military sites. Furthermore, the agreement included no practical mechanism to punish Iran for blatant violations. 

In other words, the deal was all carrot, no stick.

Finally, the agreement’s demands were not overly stringent to begin with. The deal allowed Iran to maintain operational centrifuges and enrichment facilities. It would not end Iran’s nuclear operation. At best, the deal would pause Iran’s nuclear ambitions while we poured billions of dollars into the Iranian economy – money which Iran used to fund its malicious activities at home and abroad. 

That brings us to Amb. Haley’s fourth question: Is this deal in the national security interests of the United States? 

It is clear why Iran supported the deal. It has billions of dollars in reasons to do so, and very little to lose in the process. But what does the United States stand to gain? The chance of effectively deterring Iran’s nuclear ambitions is minuscule. And in return for that glimmer of hope, we released billions of dollars to Iran, which it, in turn, used to develop its missile technology and terrorize the Middle East.

Amb. Haley said it best when she argued, “You can’t put lipstick on a pig. You have to look at the reality that this deal is flawed.”  

In light of this history, it’s stunning to hear politicians on the Left argue in favor of resuscitating the Iran deal. When a country like Iran tells us that it seeks to harm America and our friends, we should take it at its word. When Iranian leaders chant “death to America,” we should believe them. And when Iranian leaders show us that they have no intention of curbing their nuclear activities, we should take a hint. The last thing we should do is bury our heads in the sand.

Countdown: Our 10 Favorite Margaret Thatcher Quotes

Countdown: Our 10 Favorite Margaret Thatcher Quotes

Six years ago today, the world lost an incredible leader in Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013). The Iron Lady, as she was known, was a trailblazer in so many ways. She made history in 1979, becoming Britain’s first female Prime Minister and serving in that post for more than 11 years. She was an unwavering voice for freedom, free markets and limited government in a political culture that had long revered socialism. She challenged conventional wisdom fearlessly and silenced her detractors with her memorable wit. The world could use more great women like Margaret Thatcher. 

#10: “To me consensus seems to be—the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects—the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?” – Oct. 6, 1981,Speech at Monash University

#9: “Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.” – Oct. 10, 1975, Speech to the Conservative Party ConferenceVideo

#8: “All levels of income are better off than they were in 1979. But what the honorable member is saying is that he would rather the poor were poorer provided the rich were less rich. That way you will never create the wealth for better social services as we have. And what a policy. Yes. He would rather have the poor poorer provided the rich were less rich. That is the Liberal policy. Yes it came out. He didn’t intend it to but it did.” – Nov. 22, 1990, Margaret Thatcher’s last House of Commons speech

#7: “There is no such thing as ‘safe’ Socialism. If it’s safe, it’s not Socialism. And if it’s Socialism, it’s not safe.” – March 20, 1976, Speech to Conservative Central Council

#6: “Strength, not weakness, leads to peace.” – Dec. 30, 1988, Article for National Review

#5: “The whole history of negotiation with the Soviet Union teaches us that if you do something they want without insisting on something in return, the Soviets do not regard it as a kindness to be reciprocated, but as a weakness to be exploited.” – July 26, 1975, Speech to Chelsea Conservative Association

#4: “Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word.” – April 1982, At the start of the Falklands conflict

#3: “No, I’m not a feminist…I think they’ve become too strident. I think they have done great damage to the cause of women by making us out to be something we are not. Each person is different. Each has their own talents and abilities, and these are the things you want to draw and bring out. You don’t say: ‘I must get on because I’m a woman, or that I must get on because I’m a man.’ You should say that you should get on because you have the combination of talents which are right for the job. The moment you exaggerate the question, you defeat your case.” – April 21, 1978, Interview for Hornsey Journal

#2: “To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the ‘U’ turn, I have only one thing to say. ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” – Oct. 10, 1980, Speech to Conservative Party ConferenceVideo

#1: “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” – May 20, 1965, Speech to National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds Conference