Tillman responds to Russia and Iran's double-team against U.S. in Iran nuclear deal
March 24, 2022 Russia and Iran are taking full advantage of America’s weak leadership under the Biden administration. With the cockeyed return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), mostly known as the Iran nuclear deal, Russia seizes power in the Iran nuclear negotiations making the current sanctions toothless. This power grab is a bold attempt by Russia to blow off the sanctions and exploit America’s failing foreign policies. Iran uses this to its advantage while creating a huge political problem in America.
It has been reported that Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov wants guarantees that the sanctions will not affect the Iran nuclear deal. Russia is demanding that the economic, trading, and investment relations in the original JCPOA remain in place. These demands are a diplomatic nightmare being dropped in the middle of the nuclear talks in Vienna.
Under the misguided 2015 agreement, America gave Russia limited immunity from Iran sanctions so they could remove enriched uranium (bomb-making material) from Iran and assist operations at Iran’s civilian nuclear power stations. They are asking for even more assurances to create significant loopholes in Western economic, energy, and financial sanctions imposed on Russia because of the latest Ukraine invasion.
Although they may not like Russia butting in, Iran wants permanent sanctions relief and will use this hitch to further their evil plans to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran has already cut out some parts of the original deal that kept its nuclear capabilities in check, like producing uranium metal and violating restrictions on centrifuges. These violations allow Iran to gain the experience to become a nuclear power. The conditions in place on Iran’s uranium enrichment program will ‘sunset’ by 2031, permitting for a shorter period of nonproliferation barriers than the original deal. That would allow Iran to build an industrial-scale uranium enrichment program that could quickly construct a nuclear weapon if it violates its nonproliferation obligations.
This double-teaming is also a political problem for the Biden administration regarding the nuclear negotiations. In the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the administration must submit any nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for review within five days. While the White House argues that the Vienna talks are just old business and doesn’t have to go back to Congress, I disagree because the circumstances have changed. There are new technical details and textual changes tied to any upcoming agreement. If we make any concessions for Russian trade and investment in Iran, Congress must review it.
Some opponents in the Illinois GOP race for US Senate have criticized my attention to foreign policy and national matters. However, this type of nonsense is why we must pay close attention to these things. America and our allies must reject Russia’s attempts to hijack the Iran nuclear negotiations. Our Congress must not let this administration pretend this is old business. If America can't be safe, we should do like the Trump Administration and walk away from this deal. We are America and should not be bullied or extorted.
Jimmy Lee Tillman II is an author, historian, and the founder of the Martin Luther King Republicans. He is also an Academy fellow at the Heritage Foundation, active with the American First Policy Institute, and Illinois GOP candidate for U.S. Senate.