The Jewish Policy Center expresses grave reservations over the U.S.-Iran announcement of “parameters for a joint comprehensive plan of action” following an apparent agreement reached between Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Zarif in Lausanne on Thursday. The parameters published by the White House do not constitute an agreement, a treaty, or a binding document, making it impossible to measure whether or how the agreement constrains Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. Such weapons could be wedded to Iran’s known and robust missile capability in pursuit of its often-stated hegemonic aims in the Middle East and beyond and its threats against the State of Israel.
The primary shortcomings in the published parameters are:
- Agreement that Iran can engage in continued research and development as well as continued uranium enrichment. New, more efficient centrifuges will make the declining number less relevant.
- Reliance on Iranian promises of future behavior. Iran’s record of hiding programs, facilities and capabilities make it a poor candidate for international trust on a matter of such gravity to the international community.
- Reliance on international inspection regimes to monitor compliance. Iraq and North Korea provide worrisome examples of the ability of a hostile host country to control access to sensitive sites. The principle of “intrusive inspections” in both cases became one of “find it if you can,” and in neither case was an inspection regime adequate to the search and destroy mission.
Nevertheless, Dayenu – it would be enough for us – if the United States was to announce that the Administration will work with Congress to produce a unified American position going into the final stages of negotiation.
In the absence of such an American announcement, the Jewish Policy Center believes Iran may be slowed, but surely will not be stopped in its quest for nuclear weapons capability.