Just after the signing ceremony in Geneva on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran declared that the world had recognized his country’s “nuclear rights.” He was right. The deal will only lead Iran to be more stubborn.
Under the deal Iran is supposed to convert it’s nearly 200 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity a short step away from bomb-grade material into material that cannot be used for a weapon. The agreement does not require Iran to reduce its stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent, not even by one gram. Transforming unprocessed uranium into 3.5 percent-enriched uranium accounts for more than two-thirds of the time needed to transform unprocessed uranium into weapons-grade material. And given the thousands of centrifuges Iran has, the regime can enrich its stock of low-level uranium to weapons-grade quality in a matter of months. Iran already has enough of this material to make four bombs.
The United States, at the direction of President Obama, has developed sophisticated weaponry specifically in order to deter Iran from going nuclear. But heaven forbid those should have to be used is the dominant feeling in Western capitals. As a result, greater U.S. military capabilities may have given the P5+1 more reason, rather than less, to strike a deal in Geneva. And while the Obama administration maintains that the military option is still on the table in case Iran does not comply with the new agreement, that threat is becoming less and less credible.
The six powers the