Inspections: Time to hide the evidence on undeclared sites?

Pro There’s plenty of time.

Tom Udall (D-N.M.): “With regard to the 24-day requirement for undeclared sites: Given the half-life of uranium and plutonium and the resources needed to construct a parallel enrichment facility, would you say it is scientifically possible to hide such work in 24 days? Do you believe we have the technical capabilities to determine if enrichment is being done outside the JCPOA?”

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz: “Once again, we have the historical example from 2003 of precisely that happening after six months easily finding uranium despite major efforts to disguise it. And in addition, we will have all of the containment and surveillance for 20 years of all the sensitive parts of every machine that they have.”

Udall: “And so people that have used the analogy that like in a drug crime you flush it down the toilet and its gone and you won’t be able to find it — that isn’t in fact been proven out, has it.”

Moniz: “If they try that, we’ll find it. Heh heh.”

Con Iran can hide its nuclear development with lead time.

Bob Corker (R-Tenn.): “I know they said this is the most comprehensive inspection regime that we’ve ever had. That’s not true. That is not true.”

“We have a process that they’re declaring is 24 days, but we all know that’s not right. 24 days begins after, by the way, the IAEA has found violations that they’re concerned about, and then you give Iran time to respond to that, and then by the time it kicks in, there is a 24-day process, but it could be months.”

“And as we know, in laboratories, when you’re developing a nuclear warhead that is about this big, it’s very easy to cover things up like that.”

“All the focus has been on finding uranium. There’s other aspects of this that are very difficult to find.”

Snapback of sanctions

Pro Yes, we can do it almost unilaterally.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: “If Iran violates the commitments once we suspended the sanctions, we will be able to promptly snap back both U.S. and U.N. sanctions. Since preventing the snapback requires an affirmative vote from the U.N. Security Council, the United States has the ability to effectively force the re-imposition of those sanctions.”

Con No, they’ll never let us.

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “The snapback sanctions, I think, are also hollow.”

“They realize this, by the way, that they know that once the international sanctions are gone, they will be impossible to snap back. As your Iranian counterpart Mr. [Mohammad Javad] Zarif has bragged, quote, ‘Once the structure of the sanctions collapse, it will be impossible to reconstruct it.’ ”

Enough limits on enrichment?

Pro Nineteen thousand fewer centrifuges, breakout time increased from two months to a year.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry: “A civil nuclear program requires enrichment of approximately 5 percent or so. I mean, that’s the high, high end of it.

If you start to enrich higher, up around the 20 percent, you’re talking about the Tehran research reactor or a few other things. But there’s no rationale whatsoever for enrichment above that, and we would insight to that enrichment program that would instantly know if they’re beginning to go somewhere else. Red flags go off everywhere, and we’d be all over it and able to respond. We’d actually have months to respond, to be honest with you.”

Con That’s just talking points.

Corker: “I think Iran has done a masterful job in giving you a talking point with the 19,000 centrifuges, 10 of which are operating, but we all know they are antiques.

They are antiques.

And so we all talk about the number of centrifuges but this deal lays out their ability to continue research and development on the IR- 2Bs, the IR-4s, the IR-6s, the IR-8s. And in year eight they can industrialize that.”

Side agreements

Pro Standard practice.

Moniz: “[The IAEA has] a very strong reputation, which, frankly, they need to guard to make sure that they have a process with integrity. Again, it is their responsibility. There’s nothing unusual here. There’s no side agreement. This is the way it works. The IAEA negotiates with the country.”

Con Not with Iran, it isn’t standard, not now.

Ron Johnson (R-Wis.): “Let me just make the comment — how can that be confidential? And why would that be classified? Okay. I can see IAEA having those confidential agreements with normal powers. Iran is not a normal nation.”

Inspections of military sites

Pro Anytime, anywhere — within reason.

Moniz: “I did say the words ‘anytime, anywhere,’ and I am very pleased that yesterday a member of your caucus acknowledged; however, that the full sentence was ‘anytime, anywhere in the sense of a well-defined process with a well-defined end time.’”

“In fact, the IAEA can request access to any suspicious location with 24 hours’ notice under the additional protocol, which Iran again will implement.

The deal does not change that baseline. The issue if there is then — agreement is not reached, then when the IAEA requests access, this 24-day clock will start.”

Con We’ll never get to see them.

Jim Risch (R-Idaho): Everyone here knows that there’s a site called Parchin, and Parchin was a subject of these negotiations, and Parchin was designed — and I heard the secretary say that we’re going to ensure that their nuclear ambitions are only for peaceful purposes. How in the world does Parchin fit that?

Parchin was designed and operated as an explosive testing place where they designed a detonation trigger for a nuclear weapon. Parchin stays in place. Now, does that sound like it’s for peaceful purposes?

Let me tell you the worst thing about Parchin. What you guys agreed to was, we can’t even take samples there. IAEA can’t take samples there. They’re going to be able to test by themselves. Even the NFL wouldn’t go along with this.

U.N. Security Council vote

Pro U.N. Security Council going first didn’t change a thing.

Kerry: “The choice would have been the same whether or not the Security Council had voted. It’s the exact same choice. And the great distinction here — with all due respect, sir, the great distinction here, when I was ready to walk away, everybody else would have come with me, because they understood the walk away was the intransigence of Iran. So we would have walked away and held the unity of the sanctions, and we could have then done more.

Or, if we had to resort to military, people would have understood why. The problem is now, they won’t understand why. And we won’t walk away with anyone. That’s the problem.”

Con Going to the U.N. first undercut Congress.

Corker: “What you did by going to the U.N. Security Council and by laying this out in the way you are, basically, even though we put mandates in place that brought them to the table, you’re trying to paint this picture that basically takes that choice away from us. And I find that to be incredibly unfair.”

Arms embargo

Pro It’s acceptable.

Kerry: “They are restrained from any sharing of missile technology, purchase of missile technology, exchange of missile technology, work on missiles. They cannot do that under Article 41, which is Chapter 7 and mandatory. And it does have the language still.”

Con It’s not.

Robert J. Menendez (D-N.J.): I’m seriously concerned about the lifting of the arms embargo that creeped its way into this deal. As I read the Security Council resolution on Page 119, the ban on Iranian ballistic missiles has, in fact, been lifted. The new Security Council resolution is quite clear. Iran is not prohibited from carrying out ballistic missile work. The resolution merely says, quote, ‘Iran is called upon not to undertake such activity.’

Now previously, in Security Council Resolution 1929, the council used mandatory language where it said, quote, ‘It decides that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.’

Why would we accept inferior language that changes the mandatory shall to a permissive call upon? We often call upon a lot of countries to do or stop certain actions in the U.N., but it doesn’t have the force of shall not which has consequences if you do.

The consequences of walking away

Pro War is the only other option.

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.): “I believe we need to curb their nuclear ambitions. I think it’s essential. And I don’t think the American people want another war and, at the end of the day — I know some disagree with this — I think that’s — at the end of the day, that’s really the option, which everyone tiptoes around.”

Chris Murphy (D-Conn.): “If you reject this deal, then you’ve got to be pretty apocalyptic about how badly this deal will go down if you accept those broad parameters as the alternative.”

Kerry: “Let me underscore, the alternative to the deal that we have reached is not what I’ve seen some adds on TV suggesting disingenuously. It isn’t a, quote, “better deal,” some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation. That is a fantasy, plain and simple, and our intelligence community will tell you that. Every single department of our intelligence community will reinforce that to you.”

Con War is just scare tactics.

Corker: With every detail of the deal that was laid out, our witnesses successfully batted them away with the hyperbole that it’s either this deal or war.

And therefore, we were never able to appropriately question or get into any of the details because every time we did, it was either this deal or war. So, I believe that to be hyperbole.

Lifting sanctions

Pro It’s Iran’s money anyway.

Lew: “Let's be clear what those assets are. It’s not money we are giving to Iran; it’s Iran money that sits in other countries that was locked up because of international nuclear sanctions that were designed to bring them to the table to negotiate a nuclear agreement.”

“We think it’s about $50 billion. There’s at least $500 billion of domestic demand. They can’t possibly scratch the surface of that need.

So we’ve never said that there isn’t going to be a penny going to malign purposes. Under these sanctions, they've managed to find money to put into malign purposes.

But I would not exaggerate how much that’s going to change things.”

Con It’s a huge gift to an economy that funds terrorism.

Johnson: “I can’t predict this whole thing out, but what basically this deal does is interjects tens of billions, 13 percent upfront of Iran’s economy, into the economy of the largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

Iran’s continued funding of terrorist groups

Pro We’ll still have sanctions authority for the other stuff.

Lew: “But if Iran violates, those sanctions could come back on nuclear and if they do things that violate terrorism sanctions, we have the ability to sanction on other grounds. So it is not a fair conclusion that institutions that continue to engage funding terrorism or regional destabilization are immune from those kinds of sanctions. It’s just not correct.”

Con We’ll be funding their instruments of war.

Risch: “We’ve been briefed on the fact that while they have been in the horrible financial condition and we have gotten them to a horrible financial condition, one of their national priorities has been to support terrorism. They have supported Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis with financial aid, with military aid, with every kind of aid there is. Everything we’re trying to do in the world has their fingerprints on it trying to do us in.”


Pro The deal is good for Israel.

Kerry: “And if you want to just conveniently forget the fact that they had enough fissile material to build 10 to 12 bombs, that’s the threat to Israel. I mean, if you go back to that, without any alternative other than what, you know, most people think is going to be the alternative, which is confrontation.”

Con The deal is bad for Israel.

Rubio: “The only people this deal does anything for directly are the Iranian officials who want to continue to jail and execute their people, who hate Israel think to wipe the Jewish state and its people from the face of the planet, who want to spread mayhem throughout the Middle East, and continue to help Assad slaughter the Syrian people, and perhaps kill some Americans and Israelis while they’re at it.”

The rest of the world and diplomacy

Pro We’ll never get this chance again.

Kerry: “The rest of the world thinks it’s a good agreement. Now if you think the ayatollah’s going to come back and negotiate again with an American, that’s fantasy. You’re never going to see that because we will have proven we’re not trustworthy. We got 535 secretaries of state and you can’t deal with anybody. And that’s going to undo a whole bunch of efforts and a whole bunch of things that matter in the world. That’s what's at stake here.”

Con This deal screwed us.

Corker: “What you’ve really done here is you have turned Iran from being a pariah to now Congress, Congress being a pariah”