Looming Iran Nuclear Deal | Charles Duelfer

Looming Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary Kerry in a question and answer session yesterday seemed to be saying that Iran’s progress in weaponization, that is developing and testing the design of a nuclear weapon is not important for the completion of a deal with Iran.

“We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward. It’s critical to us to know that going forward, those activities have been stopped, and that we can account for that in a legitimate way.”

I wonder if Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper would agree with this.  If we “have absolute knowledge” about Iran weapons design, then there has been a massive improvement in intelligence on the Iran program.  On the other hand, if we are writing off this requirement because it is “unattainable” like so many other things related to the Iran negotiation, this is troubling.  Secretary Kerry and his team have worked endlessly on this task.  But at some point, they have to hold firm and if Iran walks away, so be it.  In fact, that might be a good outcome.  Those who are so deeply involved in the process, and who have given so much of their time, reputation and lives to achieve an agreement, may not be the best positioned to judge its benefit.  Congressional review of whatever may be agreed by the Administration will be very important.  And “no” is an acceptable answer.
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