Mort Zuckerman | A Bad Deal Off to a Worse Start

Mortimer B. Zuckerman, U.S. News and World Report:

President Barack Obama never submitted his Iranian nuclear deal for ratification by the Congress because he knew it would have no chance of passing. That does not make the United States unique: The Iranian parliament has never approved it either (that body passed a heavily amended version) and the Iranian president has never signed it. The Iranian cabinet has never even discussed it. And the other members of the P5+1 – Britain, China, Germany, France and Russia – have likewise given it short legal shrift. Indeed, President Obama “may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself,” as the Gatestone Institute’s Amir Taheri has said.

In other words, Iran is not legally bound to do anything, something which a State Department official admitted last November in a letter to Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo of the House Intelligence Committee, in which she stated the deal “is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.” Instead, the official wrote, its success “will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures” and our “capacity to reimpose and ramp up our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.” And how is that going?

So far so good for the Islamic Republic. Per Taheri, Britain now has lifted the ban on 22 Iranian banks and their companies which had been blacklisted because of alleged involvement in nuclear-linked deals; German trade with Iran is up 33 percent; China has signed deals to help Iran build five more nuclear reactors; Russia has commenced delivering S300 anti-aircraft missile systems and is angling to sell planes to the Islamic Republic; and France has sent its foreign minister and a 100-strong delegation to negotiate big business deals. Nations that weren’t in the P5+1 are also scrambling to get into the act. Indian trade with Iran is up 17 percent, for example. And the country’s nuclear project? It is “fully intact,” the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in October.

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