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Bolton: 'Unfixable' Iran Deal Must Be Abandoned

Bolton: 'Unfixable' Iran Deal Must Be Abandoned
Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Monday, 16 October 2017 03:27 PM

Arguments over the Iran deal have been dominated by peripheral issues, and obscured the fact there are no real "fixes" that can be made to turn it into a good agreement, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton wrote in a Monday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Now that President Donald Trump has announced the U.S. will stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, while refusing to certify under American law the deal is in the national interest, Congress will have to decide what next step to take, with many offering proposed changes.

Bolton insisted it should be remembered for those who say the agreement must be preserved because Iran is not violating the deal "it is neither dishonorable nor unusual for countries to withdraw from international agreements that contravene their vital interests."

Such an example, he said, was President George W. Bush's notice of withdrawal in 2001 from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, even though it was not clear Russia was violating it. What was important was the agreement was no longer strategically wise for the U.S.

Bolton said the Western powers' collapse from their original insistence it would not even negotiate unless Iran agreed to suspend all enrichment-related activity was a grave error, because regardless of the treaty's limits, "Iran benefits from continued enrichment, research and development by expanding the numbers of scientists and technicians it has with firsthand nuclear experience, [which] will be invaluable to the ayatollahs come the day they disdain any longer to conceal their real nuclear strategy."

Bolton insisted even well-intentioned senators such as Bob Corker and Tom Cotton who suggest automatically reimposing sanctions if Iran gets within a year of having nuclear weapons would only make the deal worse, because it naively ignores that "Iran is already within days of having nuclear weapons, given that it can buy them from North Korea" or that it could evade Western intelligence and inspection efforts.

Bolton said Trump should have abandoned the deal but, in any case, the agreement will soon have it last breath.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton wrote in a Monday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal arguments over the Iran deal have been dominated by peripheral issues, and obscured the fact there are no real "fixes" that can be made to turn it into a good deal.
john bolton, ambassador, un, nuclear deal
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2017-27-16
Monday, 16 October 2017 03:27 PM
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