The conduct and results of the now infamous “Iran deal” are dangerously at odds with President’s Obama’s stated goal of “stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and . . . seeking a world without them.”
In the wake of those transparently desperate concessions: Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus have established a powerful anti-America military axis in the Middle East; atomic weapon and delivery system developments are rapidly advancing in Russia, North Korea, and Iran; and uncertainty about U.S. defense commitment is prompting South Korea and Japan to “go nuclear” as well.
A July 18 Associated Press article reported that they had obtained a copy of a secret “add-on” side agreement connected with Obama’s Iran nuclear deal that advances “Tehran’s ability to build a bomb even before the end of the pact.” The arrangement actually allows Iran to expand its uranium enrichment program after 10 years — not the 15 years that publicly released parts of the deal had suggested.
Iran and Russia were planning joint military operations in Syria even during the time of those negotiations. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, top aids of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had been visiting the Kremlin since 2012 to plan a highly coordinated offensive against the Islamic State and U.S.-backed anti-President Bashar al-Assad regime rebels.
Russian bombing raids supported by thousands of Mr. Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guard forces commenced just weeks after the nuclear deal was inked. Some bombers deployed from an air base in western Iran have targeted forces in eastern Aleppo, Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the Iran accord as “important for the implementation of large-scale plans for peaceful nuclear cooperation between Russia and Iran.” Yes, and it also frees up lots of Iranian money to purchase Russian weapons, including S-300 surface-to-air missile systems that Iran ordered in 2007, three years before the U.N. imposed an arms embargo.
Referring to Moscow’s annexation of the Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014, defense analyst Olga Oliker at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies recently reported: “As tensions between Russia and the West have grown over the past two years, Kremlin officials have appeared to emphasize Russia’s nuclear capacity and perhaps even threaten its use.” For example, a new SS-30 missile system with multiple independently targetable nuclear warheads is expected to be fully operational by 2018.
Meanwhile, Iran and North Korea are known to have worked together on joint nuclear and missile technology development since at least 1993. The Washington Free Beacon Senior Editor Bill Gertz reported that Iran was even receiving ballistic missile components from Kim Jong Un’s rogue regime during the time of the U.S. nuclear negotiations.
This violation of U.N. sanctions imposed on both countries was reported by U.S. intelligence officials in Obama’s daily briefings, but were kept secret from the U.N.
Last May, the North Korean dictator bragged about his country’s hydrogen bomb test and satellite launch as “unprecedented” achievements that will “bring the final victory of the revolution.” This, and a growing sense that security arrangements with the U.S. are insufficient have provoked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to announce that Japan’s constitution did not ban his country from having or using nuclear arms.
Clearly aware of potential military significance, Japan has stockpiled 11 tons of plutonium separated from scavenged nuclear reactor fuel, and has built, but not yet operated a large reprocessing plant of French design that can separate about eight tons per year.
Although Japan shut down all reactors that can use this material following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, their government says it will proceed with reprocessing in order to retain the possibility of eventually fueling a new generation of fast-breeder reactors.
South Korea’s ruling party leaders have urged President Park Geun-hye to stockpile “peaceful” plutonium as well. It is likely no coincidence that Seoul’s leading newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, detailed how the country could use its existing civilian nuclear facilities to build a bomb in 18 months.
Japan and South Korea are parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and Tokyo’s antinuclear weapons stance dates back to the 1945 nuclear devastation the U.S. wreaked on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
So why would they begin to change their nuclear posture now? Most likely they have gotten a message similar to one expressed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on state-controlled television just minutes after the Iran deal was cinched telling audiences: “We all probably remember how in April 2009, giving a speech in Prague, the U.S. president, Barack Obama, said that if Iran’s nuclear program is successful, then the aim of the European segment of the missile defense will be dropped.”
They have had reason to expect that the administration’s ultimate commitment to defense of common interests in the Asian Pacific theater would be no different.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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