How to Judge the Nuclear Agreement with Iran

By Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker & Alireza Jafarzadeh

Early on July 14th, as news of the pending deal between the P5+1 and Iran concerning the Iranian nuclear program was about to be announced, I received the following analysis from my decade-long friend and Iranian politics expert, Alireza Jafarzadeh. In the interests of a careful analysis of the treaty by American officials and the American public—whose lives will be affected by this treaty—I present Mr. Jafarzadeh’s analysis.  Beneath the first letter is one from a few hours later as Mr. Jafarzadeh presented his first thoughts on what has been revealed of the treaty.

It is our obligation as citizens of this republic to be well informed of the policies and treaties that our government makes. This treaty calls for very careful attention and analysis on our part. As Mr. Jafarzadeh indicates, this treaty doesn’t seem to fulfill the mandate to stop Iran’s march to the bomb. But please read his analysis yourself.

How to Judge the Upcoming Nuclear Agreement with Iran?

Inherent Problems with the Agreement:

Even before the agreement is announced, a number of major problems exist.

  1. The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability.
  2. It will not require the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear enrichment infrastructure; it only puts a limit on that infrastructure for the next 10 to 15 years.
  3. It has not addressed any aspects of the long-standing Possible Military Dimension (PMD), prior to the agreement.

What to look for in the upcoming nuclear agreement:

      1. VERIFICATION: The inspectors of the IAEA must have timely and effective access to all suspect sites in Iran, including military (IRGC) facilities. No ability for Iran to deny or delay immediate access. Most importantly the agreement must include, specified arrangement for the sites that have been sought by the IAEA, i.e, Parchin, SPND, and interviews with key scientists, i.e, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fereydoon Abbasi, to name a few. If access to these sites and individuals are not already worked out, the chances are, they won’t happen anytime soon.


>R&D (Advanced Centrifuges): The agreement must disallow the advanced centrifuge R&D, testing, and deployment and bar any technical upgrade and expansion of Iran’s enrichment capacity.

  • POSSIBLE MILITARY DIMENSIONS: The IAEA inspectors must be able to take samples, to interview all relevant individuals, to inspect all suspect sites, and to copy all documents for their investigation of Iran’s past and ongoing nuclear weaponization activities.
  • SANCTIONS RELIEF: Sanctions relief has to be based on the regime’s compliance. Suspension or lifting of any sanctions must be subject to the IAEA confirmation that Iran has taken the key required steps to comply with the agreement, including coming clean on PMD. Non-nuclear sanctions (such as for human rights violations and terrorism) must remain in effect and enforced.
  • ENFORCEABILITY AND CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATIONS: It has to include a mechanism to re-impose sanctions automatically if the regime is found in violation of the agreement, including by denying or delaying IAEA access. No violation is a small violation.


For many Members of Congress, the inherent problems in the agreement are enough to reject it as a bad deal. Others like to wait until they see how the other factors are addressed in the agreement. Verification through anytime/anyplace access to all suspect sites and individuals is perhaps the single most important factor in determining if the agreement could be supported. If the onus would be on the inspectors to prove to a panel why they need to inspect a place, this process defeats the purpose, and should not be acceptable.

Unless and until these issues are clearly and definitively resolved, any agreement with the Iranian regime will not be worth the paper it is written on.

Evaluating Nuclear Agreement with Iran?

Preliminary Observations:

  1. The agreement does not prevent the Iranian regime from having a nuclear weapons capability.
  2. It maintains and legitimizes Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, with some caps for the next 10 to 15 years. It allows the regime to build an industrialized nuclear program with little limitations in about a decade.
  3. It allows the Iranian regime to conduct research and development (R&D) on advanced centrifuges including IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8, which are significantly more efficient. This allows Iran to master its technology and put together a small covert facility with only a few hundred advanced centrifuges, sufficient to produce enough fissile material for a bomb.
  4. It does not provide anytime/anywhere access to suspect nuclear sites, including the military sites. Instead it provides managed access with significant delays, which takes away the surprise element completely, undermining the very purpose of intrusive inspections.
  5. Most importantly, after 20 months of negotiations, the agreement does not include any specific arrangement to inspect the sites that have already been sought by the IAEA, i.e, Parchin, and SPND. Neither does it mention the need for interviews with key scientists, i.e, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fereydoon Abbasi, to name a few.
  6. The sanctions relief is massive and includes a large number of entities and individuals designated by the United States as part of the SDN list, including all major financial institutions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Qods Force of the IRGC, and individuals such as Qods Force commander Qasem Soleymani. The sanctions relief would give an enormous boost to the Iranian regime’s ability to continue its rogue behavior, beyond economic relief.
  7. It will provide weapons and missile trade relief in 5 and 8 years respectively, which could only help the terrorist and expansionist policies of the Iranian regime, already the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror.

The Way Forward:

  1. Today’s agreement marks only a beginning of the serious investigation, scrutiny and oversight that Congress and foreign policy experts in the United States must undertake in the next 60 days.
  2. Congress should scrutinize the agreement in a bi-partisan way. This is not a partisan issue and must be dealt with based on its merits.
  3. The agreement should not bar the United States from addressing the rogue behavior of the Iranian regime, namely its abysmal human rights record, its support for terrorism and its destabilizing role in the region.

Alireza Jafarzadeh is a media commentator on the Middle East and an active dissident figure to the Iranian government. He is best known for revealing the existence of clandestine nuclear facilities in Iran in 2002. At the time of the revelation, Jafarzadeh served as the chief congressional liaison and public spokesperson of the United States office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). He is currently also the president of Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc., as well as a FOX News Foreign Affairs Analyst

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