Despite President Barack Obama's proclamation that the new sanctions deal with Iran "halted the progress" of its nuclear program, a Wall Street Journal editorial warns
it actually takes the country a step closer to being "a de facto nuclear power."
While Iran gets sanctions relief under the deal, the Journal notes, Iran "does not have to give up its centrifuges that enrich uranium, does not have to stop enriching, does not have to transfer control of its enrichment stockpiles, and does not have to shut down its plutonium reactor at Arak."
It cannot install or start up new centrifuges, but it already has 10,000 of them in operation.
"Why does Tehran need so many centrifuges if not to make a bomb at the time it pleases?" the Journal asked.
Iran also agreed to oxidize its 20 percent-enriched uranium, but can still enrich up to 5 percent, which isn't difficult to re-enrich to 20.
Obama said that "Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor," but the Journal notes that Iran has promised only that it would not fuel the reactor. It can keep doing other work there.
"That is far from dismantling what is nothing more than a bomb factory," the editorial said.
North Korea, it noted, made the same promises in the waning years of the Bush administration and "quickly returned to bomb-making."
While everything is supposed to be ironed out for a final deal in six months, the Journal warns that such temporary deals only begin a path for "a series of temporary deals in which the West will gradually ease more sanctions in return for fewer Iranian concessions.
"Iran will threaten to walk away from the talks without new concessions, and Mr. Obama will not want to acknowledge that his diplomatic achievement wasn't real," the Journal says.
Whenever a Western leader calls for an end to sanctions, he is called a war-monger, the Journal says. That gives the advantage to the country run by a dictator who doesn't have to be concerned about public sentiment.
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