The negotiators from the P5+1 nations (the U.S., plus the other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) have managed to make the bad deal reached with Iran in Geneva in November over its nuclear program even worse. On paper, the deal still eases sanctions for six months, though effectively Iran will benefit from eight months of easing, having enjoyed a currency revival for the two months between the time the deal was announced and Jan. 20, the time that negotiators finally decided the deal would take formal effect.
In the interim, the Iranian government also announced that it would install new centrifuges to improve its enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade, and that it would continue construction on the Arak heavy-water nuclear facility. Iranian leaders have also said that they expect sanctions to be lifted entirely and that the world has effectively recognized its right to enrich uranium. Certainly, the P5+1 have torn up existing UN Security Council resolutions that prohibited any enrichment of uranium by Iran at all, for any reason.
Those resolutions were necessary because Iran purposely deceived the world about its nuclear activity and nuclear facilities, and the final details of the interim deal do not require Iran to come clean about the full details of its program. Instead, it offers limited inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency–but, as the Wall Street Journal notes, does not allow inspectors access to military facilities where nuclear development has taken place. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is threatening a veto of any new sanctions from Congress.
In sum: another victory for Iran, made sweeter by the fact that President Barack Obama is acting as Iran’s best advocate in the U.S., with his left-wing supporters in the media warning that any course other than the one the White House has taken will lead to war. Supporters of the bipartisan effort to strengthen the existing sanctions regime say have 59 Senators willing to commit formally to new legislation, and say that they have more than the two-thirds of votes necessary to override Obama’s veto. A showdown looms–and the Iranian regime just laughs.