The Obama Administration’s quest for a deal at all-costs with Iran has already greatly strengthened the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism even though prospects for a deal look bleak.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei demanded the immediate lifting of sanctions when the final deal is signed and along with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard insisted there will be no inspections of military sites — two deal breakers that should be unacceptable even to President Obama.
Less powerful Iranian diplomats have recently stated there could be inspections of military sites, but the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard along with other hard liners hold true power in the country.
The prospects of a deal passing the United States Congress also look extremely bleak.
The recently signed into law “Iran Nuclear Review Act” ensures Congress will have a say in the final in reviewing any final nuclear deal. Assuming Congress rejects a final deal and President Obama vetoes the rejection, a two-thirds majority of Congress would be needed to override this veto.
Consider the fact that in the beginning of the year eight Democratic Senators signed on as co-sponsors to the Kirk-Menendez “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015,” legislation designed to increase sanctions on Iran.
If all 54 Republicans Senators and those 8 Democrats from Kirk-Menendez rejected a deal, only a few more votes would be needed to override a Presidential veto.
Here are five ways in which Iran already has and will have gained even if a final deal falls through:
1. Iran has already benefited from limited sanctions relief.
At the end of last year, it was estimated that Iran had received about $4.6 billion in sanctions relief from being in the talks — mostly in unfrozen bank assets from oil revenues.
In January, another $4.2 billion in sanctions relief was agreed to by the U.S. and European Union over the first six months of this year along with up $2 billion in trade.
This figure — roughly $10 billion in sanctions relief so far — may be small compared to an estimated $5 billion Iran is losing due to sanctions per month or $60 billion per year and approximately $100 billion in frozen assets, but it is still significant.
How much of this $10 billion is being used to help prop up the Iranian regime or fund Assad in Syria, the Houthi Rebels in Yemen and terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas?
2. Iran’s nuclear weapon program is still on the cusp.
The UN’s nuclear agency claims that Iran has disabled centrifuges enriching uranium at a dangerous 20 percent level and is limiting its program to a 5 percent enrichment level.
Just how verifiable are these UN reports? The inspectors clearly haven’t had unfettered access to all Iranian sites.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz who said that Iran’s current enrichment capabilities make it only two or three months away from producing a nuclear weapon. Secretary Moniz said that we have known this for some time — dramatically contradicting the less than the one-year time frame for nuclear break-out President Obama had continually stated.
Isn’t it extremely likely that Iranian scientists continue to work toward obtaining a nuclear weapon — during and under the cover of the ongoing negotiations?
3. China and Russia are already rewarding Iran.
Iran is already pivoting from the position to get more support from the Russians and Chinese.
Vladimir Putin and Russia recently agreed to sell a S-300 missile system to Iran — against the spirit of a UN Security Council resolution which they had abided to since 2010.
In what would be a harrowing scene in the future, this Russian system — designed to shoot down aircraft — could be used to protect Iran’s nuclear program.
In 2014 China increased oil imports from Iran by 48 percent and its oil companies are making plans for development in Iran.
It is hard not to see Russia and China continuing to move forward with Iran. Will the Europeans follow even if the U.S. rejects a final deal?
4. Iran’s hand has been strengthened in dealing with its own people.
The Iranian regime will use the rejection of a deal to strengthen their position with their own people amidst terrible economic conditions that include 35 percent inflation, 13 percent unemployment, and a 1.7 percent contraction in GDP.
The Iranian leaders know the problems they are facing with their own people. They came to power in 1979 when many Iranians were disgruntled with the poor economic conditions under the Shah.
The current regime cracked down on massive protests in 2009 and 2011 that included hundreds of thousands of Iranians taking to the streets — as they killed and imprisoned opposition leaders. And the Iranian leaders know too well of the many other regimes have fallen in the Arab Spring.
If the deal falls through, Iran’s leaders will blame the U.S. for their economic plight to an even greater extent. The U.S. — the “Great Satan” — is the reason sanctions have not been relieved and their economy is so bad, they will tell the Iranian people. The Americans are the ones who walked away from the deal.
5. Iran will cry “foul” if Israel acts to destroy nuclear sites.
Israel certainly has plans in place to try to take out Iranian nuclear facilities.
If Israel attacks Iran after a deal falls through, Iran will claim it is a “victim” who tried to negotiate in “good faith” and is now being attacked.
The damage has already been done from Iranian nuclear negotiations. The next American President and the nations of the Middle East will be left to confront a more powerful, dangerously positioned Iran.