Drip by drip, we are getting details of the Iranian nuclear deal and it’s looking worse than initially thought. We are now finding out that the mullahs can exact a 35 day termination notice on the pretext that certain parties are not living up to the agreement. This will be quite convenient after sanctions have been dropped, the $150 billion in seized assets returned, and Western businesses have established contractual obligations within the Iranian regime. Here is an excerpt from the Hill:
Last Tuesday, a 159-page PDF of the Iran nuclear agreement dropped into my inbox. Scrolling down to page 19, I checked out Paragraph 36. I suggest you do the same. Plenty of provisions in the Vienna agreement will get attention in the coming weeks, but Paragraph 36 may be the most important of all.
Paragraph 36 tells us when and how the agreement might end. Both friend and foe have touted this deal as “historic” and promised (or moaned) that its provisions will stay in place for the long term. But in practice, this is not a ten-year agreement or a fifteen-year agreement or an eternal agreement. Paragraph 36 tells us the truth: Any party—be it Iran or a future U.S. president—can essentially ditch the Iran nuclear deal with 35 days' notice.
Iran might need to wait a little longer—an extra 30 working days—to check a box buried in Annex IV. But, after that, under Paragraph 36, Iran can claim that any of the P5+1 is "not meeting its commitments" under the agreement. That triggers a 35-day set of meetings. Once that clock runs, Iran can claim the issue "has not been resolved to [its] satisfaction" and that it “deems” that the issue "constitutes significant non-performance." Iran can then "cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part." The agreement is done.
How can anyone from the Obama administration brag about this deal?