At a time when national attention is on post-midterm Washington, it should indeed be focused on Geneva. Over the past twenty years, Iran has been trying to develop nuclear weapons. It is only recently that the international community has caught on and the put harsh sanctions on Iran, which have caused economic pain and forced Iran to the negotiating table. In the past 9 months, Iran has been in negotiations with the P5+1 (US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) over its nuclear program. The Iranian atomic program is made up of over 20,000 advanced centrifuges in facilities buried underground and in mountains. While Tehran claims its program is for energy purposes, the international community refutes these claims. The IAEA, the UN agency in charge of monitoring world nuclear activity, has confirmed that Iran has carried out activities only relevant to the development of nuclear weapons.
Iran can’t be trusted with a nuclear weapon, or even a nuclear weapons capability. The US Government classifies the regime as the largest statewide funder of terrorism in the world, responsible for attacks against the US and our allies. These include the bombings of 3 US Embassies, US troop barracks in Saudi Arabia and hijackings. The regime also funds terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and militias in Iraq. It is absurd to think a nuclear Iranian regime will stop funding terrorism; indeed an Iran with a nuke would be an umbrella for terrorism across the world.
While I am a proponent of diplomacy, and hope the talks in Geneva produce a good final agreement, I am very skeptical. Any good deal with the Iranian regime must consist of the dismantling of the entire Iranian nuclear infrastructure and round the clock access for inspectors. If Iran does not comply, further sanctions and pressure, including military options must be on the table. Whilst the P5+1 and Iranian leaders have been negotiating, the regime has continued enriching weapons grade uranium and refused inspectors access of their sites. The only outcome of negotiations thus far has been Iran buying time to complete building an atomic bomb. Indeed Iran has taken a page out of the North Korean playbook. In the late 90’s Pyongyang used negotiations as a means to buy time to complete its nuclear weapons program. If our government agrees to a weak deal with Iran, a nuclear arms race will be unleashed in the Middle East, and the most volatile region in the world will become further unstable. How can we allow a regime that believes in a worldwide Caliphate access to the world’s most destructive weapon?