The Iran Nuclear Deal: Barack Obama’s Latest “triumph”

Or a catastrophic mistake

Those who are critical of our president’s diplomatic “solution” to the Iran atomic bomb program, are asked – What is the alternative?

This is the answer.

The economic sanctions almost succeeded but were rendered ineffective by a fundamentally unworkable agreement that is worse than the status quo ante. Cheating is rewarded in advance. And more cheating is almost certain to take place. The limits of Iranian wiggle room will be tested while diplomats and bureaucrats fret. We are promised snap back sanctions. Really? Not. This will be a Kabuki play that distracts from Iran’s inexorable progress towards nuclear power status. Why else would the regime cling to its missiles and bomb manufacturing technology? The diplomatic game will play out in a dangerous new context: The Iranian path to an atomic bomb will have been de facto legitimized by the agreement; and that deadly path will be more secure because the rogue regime in Iran will have been bolstered by huge cash infusions, and the relaxation of sanctions.

Think about it: For a brief moment, the civilized world had the rogue Iranian regime on the ropes. Now the sanctions are to be relaxed just before they can become severe enough to force an authentic change of behavior.

Yet our president chooses to ask us: What is the alternative to this proposed agreement?

It should be obvious: If the US Senate can find the extra votes to overcome the expected presidential veto, the congress must block the agreement and prevent any relaxation of sanctions. Failing that, the Congress must refuse to lend any authority to the agreement whatsoever and do everything within its power to force sanctions to increase in severity until the Iranian regime actually and verifiably abandons its quest for nuclear power status.

…And equally obviously, some very strong executive measures will ultimately be required. Absent an improbable change of position in the White House (this is a president who sees himself as immune from impeachment) – strong measures must wait until after Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

As Americans with a stake in the future of our country and the world, we have the right to expect that a new US president will act decisively on or before January 30, 2017 to eliminate Iran’s atomic bomb making capability. We have the right to expect him or her to employ all means necessary to achieve that goal, with or without the support of China, Russia and the other involved powers.

The stakes could not be higher. The US national interest could not be more clearly at risk.

I predict that the immediate pressure point with Iran will be its unwillingness to supply a full accounting of the cache of specially enriched Uranium that it now possesses. In all likelihood, most kilograms of this precious and deadly asset will have been secured on an Iranian military site where inspection requests are denied. If we have elected a real leader in 2016, then on day one, our new president will declare that the nuclear agreement must be modified to permit anywhere, anytime inspections and an immediate (i.e., within 24 hours) snapback of sharp sanctions.

Assuming that the Iranian regime refuses to comply, then on day two, more drastic economic sanctions will be employed. In the event that international support for sanctions has begun to unravel by then, our president will announce that the US is fully prepared to impose unilateral sanctions. Of necessity, these will include “kinetic sanctions,” i.e., dramatic measures like eliminating an Iranian economic asset, as in taking out a major gasoline refinery[1].

This level of toughness will be shocking to some, but it will prove both necessary and appropriate. Our new president will need a level of decision making discipline and nerve characteristic of an FDR or a Truman.

Ultimately the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons can be stopped, but some military action will likely prove necessary. This can be accomplished without a massive ground invasion.

Why bother?

Are Americans really aware of the stakes? An Iranian atomic bomb will set off a regional arms race that – given the mutual hostilities and regime instabilities – very probably will lead to an exchange of nuclear weapons. This will have grave consequences that cannot be avoided or denied.

Contemporary climate scientists have warned us that the consequences of even a “modest” nuclear war cannot be confined to a single region of the world. Large scale climate disruptions will likely follow even a “small” nuclear war, sharply reducing world crop yields for more than a year. We humans only have a 90 day food stockpile. If even one year’s growing season is interrupted, massive starvation is inevitable. People have fought and died over less. A world war is among the likely consequences of allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Permit me one final caution. Israel’s very existence is at grave risk here. Israel was recreated as a Jewish refuge state in light of the disgraceful anti-Semitism of the continental Europeans, whose chastened post WWII leaders realized that anti-Semitism would undoubtedly come back. Harry Truman was an instrumental ally of the new Jewish state.

The Islamic radicals who run Iran are the reincarnation of Hitler’s anti-Jewish mindset. If Western civilization fails to prevent another holocaust, in the form of the destruction of the Jewish homeland by radical Islamist forces, a moral cancer will have taken root in the very heart of Western civilization. No amount of retrospective breast-beating or revisionist history will exorcise the cultural demon.

Western civilization itself will not survive the infection.

Nor will any complicit American political party.



Copyright © 2015 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law

A license to link to this article or to publish pull quotes from it (with full attribution) is hereby granted. For all other permissions and comments, please contact the author via email at The author served as the chief Public Defender for the County of Alameda, CA, headquartered in Oakland for 10 years, following a long career as an Assistant Public Defender. Then, Gaskill left his “life of crime” to devote more time to writing. Learn more about Jay B Gaskill, attorney, analyst and author, at


[1] The Iranian rulers do not believe that any western power is prepared to endure muchy economic hardship or disruption of commerce in order to impose sanctions on Iran. Nor – at least as long as Mr. Obama is in control – do they believe that the USA would risk any military engagement. They suspect that we are reluctant to deploy our bunker-busting bombs because we are afraid they might be exposed as ineffectual. Hitting one or more gasoline refineries would impose an immediate economic cost on the Iranians and its shock value would be dramatic. It would be a double message – about both US determination and capabilities. As to the USAF bombing capabilities, we can say with confidence that we can deliver weapons on Iranian targets that, at a minimum, will effectively deny access to any Iranian uranium enrichment facility. And we can be confident that any negotiations that follow the demonstration of US determination and military capabilities will result in a much more favorable agreement.

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