Democrats hailed Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal as a hallmark of his presidency. However, the truth is the agreement did virtually nothing to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
At the very best, it simply delayed Iran.
At worst, it didn’t stop them at all, but still allowed their economy to recover after crippling sanctions were lifted.
But the worst part about the Iran deal is the lengths to which Obama went to make sure it happened.
First, he sanctioned the release of Iranian prisoners, and misled people over the severity of their crimes (they had direct links to terror). Now there’s evidence he may have covered up acts of aggression from Iran.
Obama and his administration didn’t disclose cyber attacks orchestrated by Iran against the United States and Israel.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
The attack took place within days of the deal overcoming opposition in Congress in late September that year. That same week, Iranian officials and negotiators for the United States and other world powers were beginning the process of hashing out a series of agreements allowing Tehran to meet previously determined implementation deadlines.
Critics regard these agreements as “secret side deals” and “loopholes” initially disclosed only to Congress.
Sources familiar with the details of the attack said it sent shockwaves through the State Department and the private-contractor community working on Iran-related issues.
The Obama administration kept quiet about the cyber-attack and never publicly acknowledged concerns the attack created at State, related agencies, and within the private contractor community that supports their work.
Critics of the nuclear deal said the Obama administration did not publicly disclose the cyber-attack’s impact out of fear it could undermine support right after the pact had overcome political opposition and cleared a critical Congressional hurdle.
In the week leading up to that deadline, Senate Democrats blocked several attempts to pass a GOP-led resolution to disapprove of the nuclear deal. The resolution of disapproval needed 60 votes to pass but the most it garnered was 58.
President Trump, during his trip to the Middle East in late May, talked tough against Iran and its illicit ballistic missile program but has so far left the nuclear deal in place. A Trump State Department review of the deal is nearing completion, the Free Beacon recently reported, and some senior Trump administration officials are pushing for the public release of the so-called “secret side deals.”
“They had access to everything in those email accounts,” the source said. “Everyone in the [State Department Iranian Affairs] community was very upset—it was a major problem.”
Since 2011 Iran has attacked U.S. banks and Israel’s electric grid. In 2012, Iranian hackers brought down Saudi-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, erasing information on nearly 30,000 of the company’s work stations and replacing it with a burning American flag.
Cyber-security experts have long believed that Russia helped Iran quickly build up its cyberweaponry in response to Stuxnet. A team of computer-security experts at TrapX, a Silicon Valley security firm that helps protect top military contractors from hackers, said in April they officially confirmed that Iranians were using a cyber “tool set” developed by Russians.
The private-contracting community involved in State Department Iran programs—approximately 40 private firms, some of which are based in Washington and others located throughout the United States—were outraged by the infiltration.
“They were saying ‘We’re mad—we’re angry,'” the source recalled. “We all got compromised.”
Critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal argue that the State Department stayed silent about the hack because acknowledging it could have publicly undermined the pact right after it became official.
“Within hours of the Iran deal being greenlighted, Iran was already conducting cyberattacks against the very State Department that ensured passage of the [nuclear deal],” said Michael Pregent, a senior Middle East analyst at the Hudson Institute. “Acknowledging a cyberattack after the [nuclear deal] was greenlighted would be something that would immediately signal that it is a bad deal—that these are nefarious actors.”
Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Iran’s hacking of State Department personnel at such a critical period is “just one of many of Iran’s malign activities that continued and the State Department essentially ignored while the Obama administration was working out the fine points of the nuclear deal.”
“The Obama administration didn’t acknowledge it publicly out of fear that public outrage could threaten the nuclear deal,” he said.
The late September time period was particularly important for negotiating critical details of the nuclear deal’s implementation, what critics, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have labeled “secret side deals” allowing Iran to evade some restrictions in the nuclear agreement in order to meet its deadline for sanctions relief.
Among other non-public details of the pact, the side agreements involved the controversial exchange of American prisoners held in Iran for $1.7 billion in cash payments.
“It would be to Iran’s great benefit to know where the U.S. would be” on a number of these issues dealing with the possible military dimensions of the Iran nuclear program, he said. “If they could tell the U.S. was going to punt, they could jerk around the [International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA] a bit.”
“That’s essentially what happened with the IAEA,” he added.
The IAEA is charged with verifying and monitoring Iran’s commitments under the nuclear agreement.
According to Albright, the IAEA ultimately accepted far less access to nuclear sites than it originally wanted. The United States and other world powers also accepted other concessions involving “loopholes” allowing Iran to exceed uranium enrichment and heavy water limits for a certain time period in order for Iran to meet implementation deadlines, he said.
“The IAEA didn’t know much at all and had to write a report [in December 2015] that it was content in knowing so little,” he said.
The Iran deal is a farce from top to bottom. The country is very clearly hostile toward us and Israel, our greatest ally in the region.
The deal also allows Iran to self-police the winding down of their nuclear program with the IAEA monitoring, but as the article mentioned, the IAEA had to accept watered-down access agreements.
North Korea agreed to a similar nuclear pact during Clinton’s presidency, and it clearly did nothing to stop them from acquiring nuclear technology.
There is zero reason the same thing won’t happen with Iran, which could be disastrous for Israel and the United States.