What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 15, 2015

The Tribune-Review Misleads Its Readers Again. Not Surprising.

From today's Trib:
Details matter, President Barack Obama said early Tuesday, announcing a deal with Iran to, supposedly, stunt its nuclear weapons program. That must be why the president omitted some of the most important details that render this “accomplishment” the rank appeasement it is.

The agreement “is not built on trust, it is built on verification,” the president insisted. But that's where the devil — or in this case, the ayatollah — is in the details. For key provisions of the inspection regimen redefine “ineffectual.”

Read past the technical prohibitions and you'll learn that United Nations inspectors are allowed to only press for visits to Iranian military sites. Iran can refuse. And then there's a protracted appeals process giving Tehran all the cover it needs to hide illicit activity. It's pretty much the same deal for International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.
Yes, details do matter. And it's obvious from the above that my good friends on the Trib braintrust utterly failed to grasp a significant number of details in the agreement.

Let's look at what the agreement actually says about the inspectors, visits to Iranian military sites and whether Iran can "refuse."  On pages 42-43 of the agreement we read:
75. In furtherance of implementation of the JCPOA, if the IAEA has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities, or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA, at locations that have not been declared under the comprehensive safeguards agreement or Additional Protocol, the IAEA will provide Iran the basis for such concerns and request clarification.

76. If Iran’s explanations do not resolve the IAEA’s concerns, the Agency may request access to such locations for the sole reason to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at such locations. The IAEA will provide Iran the reasons for access in writing and will make available relevant information.

77. Iran may propose to the IAEA alternative means of resolving the IAEA’s concerns that enable the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the location in question, which should be given due and prompt consideration.

78. If the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA cannot be verified after the implementation of the alternative arrangements agreed by Iran and the IAEA, or if the two sides are unable to reach satisfactory arrangements to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA at the specified locations within 14 days of the IAEA’s original request for access, Iran, in consultation with the members of the Joint Commission, would resolve the IAEA’s concerns through necessary means agreed between Iran and the IAEA. In the absence of an agreement, the members of the Joint Commission, by consensus or by a vote of 5 or more of its 8 members, would advise on the necessary means to resolve the IAEA's concerns. The process of consultation with, and any action by, the members of the Joint Commission would not exceed 7 days, and Iran would implement the necessary means within 3 additional days. [Emphases added.]
Looks to me like that's at most 24 days.  That's what the braintrust says is enough time for Iran to hide its "illicit activity."

And if the resolution isn't resolved?  For that we can turn to pages 19-20 of the agreement.  After describing another 30 day process the agreement reads:
Upon receipt of the notification from the complaining participant, as described above, including a description of the good-faith efforts the participant made to exhaust the dispute resolution process specified in this JCPOA, the UN Security Council, in accordance with its procedures, shall vote on a resolution to continue the sanctions lifting. If the resolution described above has not been adopted within 30 days of the notification, then the provisions of the old UN Security Council resolutions would be re-imposed, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise.[Emphasis added.]
So if the Iranians have somehow built a new plant that the IAEA wants to see and if they refuse all access to it and if the issue isn't resolved, then (by my count) about 8 weeks later all the old sanctions snap into place.

That's what the braintrust described as "ineffectual."

And for some intellectual backup, they do this:
As John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a regular Trib columnist, told us Tuesday, “This deal is an American Munich. Barack Obama is trying to appease the mullahs in Tehran by making one concession after another.

“The result will be not just a nuclear Iran but half a dozen nuclear weapons states in the world's most volatile and dangerous region,” Mr. Bolton warned.
I can't see how any of that is accurate after reading the agreement.

Let's remember, class, that 13 years ago, John Bolton said this:
We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq.
And this:
There is no doubt in our mind that Saddam Hussein has an active chemical and biological warfare effort.
And of the war his boss started in order to deal with Iraq's WMD, he said:
I expect that the American role actually will be fairly minimal. I think we'll have an important security role.
None of which turned out to actually be true.

So why should we take anything that John Bolton says seriously?  More importantly, why does the Trib treat him with any sort of credibility?

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