Academics Ready for Iran

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

A group of scholars has concocted a plan to implement the U. S.-Iran Nuclear Agreement that looks even sketchier than the pact itself.

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The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has devised “Six Achievable Steps for Implementing An Effective Verification Regime for a Nuclear Agreement With Iran.” They are:

  1. “Ensure that the Joint Commission Works Effectively Among the P5+1 and Iran to Facilitate Compliance and Communication.” P5 + 1 stands for the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. The five permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  2. “Organize Executive Branch Mechanism to Create Synergy and Sustain Focus on Implementation Over the Long-Term.”
  3. “Support and Augment the IAEA in the Pursuit of its Key Monitoring Role.” The IAEA is the International Atomic Energy Agency “within the United Nations family,” as the agency’s web site puts it.
  4. “Create a Joint Executive-Congressional Working Group (JECWG) to Facilitate Coordination Across the Legislative and Executive Branches of the USG. USG stands for United States Government.
  5. “Prepare a Strategy and Guidebook for Assessing and Addressing Ambiguities and Potential Noncompliance.”
  6. “Exploit New Technologies and Open Source Tools for Monitoring a Nuclear Agreement with Iran.”

Chris Birdwell, a senior fellow at the FAS, chaired the task force that made these recommendations.  Birdwell designed and taught a course at Georgetown University on Current Issues in Nonproliferation. Penn State Professor Joseph DeThomas, who was previously a career foreign service officer, assisted in compiling the FAS report.

The FAS task force avoided the question of whether the U.S.-Iran deal was a good agreement, because they viewed that question as a political issue. Actually, political opponents of the deal argue that it is a national security issue. Freshman U. S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas points out that “IAEA must request access from Iran for inspections and Iran has 24 days—and possibly much longer—before providing access.”

Another freshman U. S. Senator, James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, notes that “The U. S. and the U.N. have for years said that Iran should not enrich uranium.”

“In fact, there are six U.N. resolutions saying Iran should not enrich uranium.”