Friday, April 17, 2015

Influential National Security Professionals Warn That Iran ‘Framework Agreement’ Imperils the Common Defense - CSP



by CSP

We respectfully call on Congress to take decisive action to denounce the “framework agreement,” insist on a congressional vote on this accord, and pass new sanctions against Iran requiring it to comply with all existing nuclear-related UN Security Council resolutions. 

Washington, DC—  In the wake of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s vote Tuesday to subject any nuclear deal with Iran to congressional review, 33 former senior military officers, government officials and other national security professionals urged that the so-called “framework agreement,” and whatever accord might ensue from it, be rejected by the Congress.

In particular, the signatories warned about the terms laid out in U.S. depictions of the framework’s guidelines – to say nothing of those to which the Iranians actually agree.
We believe the purported framework agreement can only be the basis for a bad nuclear deal with Iran – one that will: allow it to continue its nuclear weapons program; be incapable of verifying covert and weapons-related activities; and offer Iran unwarranted and effectively irreversible sanctions relief.  Any agreement with Iran based on such a defective foundation will ensure the realization of Iran’s longstanding nuclear ambitions, further destabilize the Middle East and seriously undermine Western efforts to prevent further nuclear proliferation.
Among the signatories of the letter are:
Hon. Pete Hoekstra, Former Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Admiral James A. Lyons, USN (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, USA (Ret.), Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Hon. Paula DeSutter, former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance Lt. General Bennett L. Lewis, U.S. Army (Ret.), Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Jack David, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy and a signatory to the letter, stated:
“Congress has rightly become alarmed about the nature, contents and implications of what is deceptively described as a ‘framework agreement’ with Iran.  Competent national security professionals, like the signatories of this letter, recognize a harsh reality:  The present approach will allow nuclear weapons to be acquired by what is arguably the most dangerous regime on the planet – one that is sworn to destroy the United States and wipe its ally, Israel, off the map.  The potential for disaster are so enormous that the legislative branch must act decisively to prevent the bad deal now in prospect.”

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the U.S. House and Senate

April 16, 2015


Dear Speaker Boehner, Senator McConnell, Senator Reid, and Representative Pelosi:
We are writing to express our serious concerns about the new “framework agreement”
concerning Iran’s nuclear weapons program that was unveiled last week. As you know,
it has been presented as an agreed guideline for a comprehensive agreement to address
that threat. After carefully reviewing the American, Iranian and European Union
treatments of this initiative, however, it is clear that there are myriad and fundamental
disagreements about the nature – let alone the practical effects – of those guidelines.


As a result, in our judgment as national security professionals, any agreement likely to
result from follow-on negotiations will likely undermine American national security and
regional interests by legitimizing Iran’s nuclear weapons program and allowing it to
advance, even while an agreement is in effect.


We have four principal objections to the nuclear “framework”:


1. Uranium enrichment. All parties agree that Iran will be allowed to operate
thousands of uranium centrifuges and to develop more advanced centrifuges while a
nuclear agreement is in effect. Given the significant nuclear proliferation danger of
enrichment, we believe the United States must return to its previous position on this
issue, which the Obama administration abandoned in 2012: any nuclear agreement with
Iran must bar uranium enrichment and require that all Iranian centrifuges be
disassembled. We also believe all of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile must be
physically removed from Iran.


2. Plutonium. According to the Obama administration, Iran will remove and replace
the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor now under construction so that it will not
produce weapons-grade plutonium. Iran disputes this, however, and has said this
reactor will be “modernized.”


Not only is it impossible to operate a heavy-water reactor without producing plutonium,
even allowing Iran to operate such a reactor so it produces less plutonium would pose an
unacceptable proliferation risk since it will increase Iran’s expertise in this technology.
Iran began construction of this reactor in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
The United States must return to its previous position that work on this reactor be
halted permanently.


3. Verification. We believe the verification provisions in the framework as outlined by
U.S. officials will be far too weak to ensure Iran has halted covert nuclear weaponization
activities. Notwithstanding public statements by senior Obama administration
representatives, it falls far short of an “anytime, anywhere” inspection regime.


In fact, most of the verification provisions described by U.S. officials concern Iran’s
declared civilian program. Provisions to investigate possible weaponization work and
covert nuclear sites have major loopholes. For example, Iran reportedly has rejected
snap inspections and will be allowed to contest allegations of covert nuclear activities in
a dispute-resolution process, possibly for months. This will give Tehran time to do what
it has done repeatedly in the past: sanitize suspect nuclear sites.


Although U.S. officials have claimed the IAEA will have greater access to possible covert
nuclear sites because Iran has agreed to comply with the IAEA additional protocol (an
agreement Iran signed in 2003, but has never actually implemented), we note that an
EU/Iran joint statement on the framework says Iran has only agreed to “provisional”
cooperation with this agreement.


4. Sanctions. We are very concerned about the significant disagreements that clearly
exist between the parties about how and when nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be
lifted. Obama administration officials claim sanctions will be lifted in phases, based on
Iranian compliance with a final agreement. They contend that all U.S., EU and UN
sanctions will be lifted only after the IAEA certifies Iranian compliance with key
elements of a final agreement. Even then, these officials insist that such sanctions will
only be suspended, not terminated, and will “snap back” if Iran fails to comply with its
obligations under the agreement.


Iranian officials dispute the Obama administration’s account of how sanctions will be
lifted and have declared that sanctions will be immediately terminated, not suspended,
after a final agreement is signed.


Even if Iran accepted the U.S. view on how sanctions will be lifted, we still find the
Obama administration’s approach to this issue to be unacceptable. We believe the
requirements for lifting sanctions are insufficiently rigorous and, therefore, too easy for
Iran to meet. For example, it seems unlikely that Tehran will be required to explain past
weapons-related activities in order to achieve sanctions relief.


Most importantly, although the Obama administration claims sanctions will be
“snapped back” if Iran reneges on its agreement obligations, we believe it is very
unlikely that EU or UN sanctions will ever be re-imposed once they are lifted. We also
are concerned that the Obama administration’s history of ignoring Iranian cheating on
prior nuclear commitments makes it unlikely it will block the lifting of sanctions in the
event of predictable, further Iranian violations in the future.


In short, given such realities, we believe the purported framework agreement can only
be the basis for a bad nuclear deal with Iran – one that will: allow it to continue its
nuclear weapons program; be incapable of verifying covert and weapons-related
activities; and offer Iran unwarranted and effectively irreversible sanctions relief. Any
agreement with Iran based on such a defective foundation will ensure the realization of
Iran’s longstanding nuclear ambitions, further destabilize the Middle East and seriously
undermine Western efforts to prevent further nuclear proliferation.


We respectfully call on Congress to take decisive action to denounce the “framework
agreement,” insist on a congressional vote on this accord, and pass new sanctions
against Iran requiring it to comply with all existing nuclear-related UN Security Council
resolutions. We believe it is imperative for America’s co-equal legislative branch of
government to make clear to the world that the status quo – meaning no nuclear deal
with Iran – is considerably better than this very bad deal and what will flow from it.


Sincerely,


Hon. Pete Hoekstra
Former Chairman, House Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence
Hon. Paula DeSutter
Former Assistant Secretary of State for
Verification, Compliance, and
Implementation
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
for International Security Policy
(Acting)
Jack David
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense
Admiral James A. Lyons,
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific
Fleet
Lieutenant General William G. Boykin,
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Former Deputy Under Secretary of
Defense for Intelligence
Lieutenant General Bennett L. Lewis
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense
Major General Edward M. Browne
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Major General Richard M. Cooke
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
Major General John R. D. Cleland
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Major General Thomas F. Cole
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Major General Don Infants
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Major General J. D. Lynch
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
Major General George R. Robertson
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Major General H. Douglas Robertson
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Dale F. Anders
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Brigadier General Francis A. Hughes
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Rear Admiral James W. Austin
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Lawrence Burkhardt
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Robert H. Gormley
U. S. Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Grady L. Jackson
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral E.S. McGinley II
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Albert J. Monger
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Brigadier General Darryl Powell, MD
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Hugh P. Scott, MD
U.S. Navy Medical Corps (Ret.)
Andrew Bostom
Author, Iran's Final Solution for Israel:
The Legacy of Jihad and Shi'ite Islamic
Jew-Hatred in Iran.
Elaine Donnelly
President,
Center for Military Readiness
Sarah Stern
President
Endowment for Middle East Truth
Kenneth Timmerman
President, Foundation for Democracy in
Iran
David Wurmser
Former Senior Adviser to Vice President
Cheney and founder, Delphi Global
Analysis Group
Yleem Poblete
Former staff director, House Foreign
Affairs Committee, and President,
Poblete Analysis Group
Daniel Pollak
Co-Director, Government Relations
Zionist Organization of America
Mark Groombridge
Former senior State Department advisor
Clare M. Lopez
Former CIA Officer and Vice President,
Center for Security Policy
Frederick Fleitz
Former CIA Officer and former
Professional Staff Member, House
Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence



CSP

Source: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/04/16/influential-national-security-professionals-warn-that-iran-framework-agreement-imperils-the-common-defense/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

No comments:

Post a Comment