Trump Withdraws From Iran Nuclear Deal

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bastardofmelbourne:
The first question that pops into my head, about the centrifuges, is that if Iran was planning to buy these more efficient centrifuges regardless of the JCPOA, what difference did the JCPOA make? It puts a shine of international legality onto their atomic energy program, but Iran is still prohibited from building a bomb under the NPT, so it doesn't legalise an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

The second question that pops into my head, about how these newer centrifuges would hypothetically allow Iran to produce uranium secretly under the nose of inspectors through a decentralised production network, is...well, where does the uranium go?

I'm going to be candid. I genuinely respect your post and I think you have a very keen mind. You're of of the only people interested in actual discussion and I properly admire that. I write in earnest when I say I think I'm probably not a match to you. I will try however.

The first and second points you raise are related and probably the best way I can get across my thought is with that wonderful old saying "Sometimes it's better to ask forgiveness than permission". I'm not talking about literal apologies and permission, but in doing something without permission such that by the time it's discovered it's fait accompli. I think the fundamental issue here is that for some reason people actually believe there's a possibility that Iran isn't pursuing the bomb.

Once one realises that the bomb is their entire goal, that is the thing they are pursuing and every word, act and deed from Iran in this regard is to that end, one will understand why the deal was a disaster. If Iran says they are not pursuing the bomb, it is a lie. If Iran says it will agree to a deal that will deny them the bomb, they are lying and will continue enriching fissionable materials out of sight of whatever inspectors get sent round. You can come to my house and I'll show you an empty room where I'm not enriching uranium, that will prove I'm not doing it.

But the other crucial point to note is that when Kerry's deal expires (and it has a very firm expiry date), it removes ALL restrictions and no more could be enforced. (An article with a summary of the point.) The deal allows them to pursue an arms program without restriction or supervision once it expires, so *even if* we accept that Iran is above board and keeps every word of their part in the deal (hah!), then they are still guaranteed the bomb after it expires. That's the most important takeaway for the argument as to why I'm saying the deal was so monumentally disastrous. That even *best case*, if the deal does exactly what it's written to do, Iran is guaranteed the bomb in a decade, give or take, so it's only a delay.

bastardofmelbourne:
And my third question, which is the really big important one, is...what's the alternative?

Iran has zero capacity for enriching uranium, gives up its nuclear ambitions and brings peace to the region. That third was a joke of course. In seriousness, they need to give up nuclear ambitions, it's that simple. Sanctions should never have been lifted while they still had operational centrifuges and fissionable materials. Any deal would have to have that at its core with sanctions and military intervention if necessary as the alternative.

bastardofmelbourne:
Everyone is back at square one, except Iran has the unfrozen assets they were promised, they still have trade with the rest of the P5, and they also have the moral high ground. (Yes, that's right; Iran has the moral high ground here. The US signed onto a deal and bailed on it four years later without evidence that Iran wasn't meeting their end of the bargain.)

I don't know about moral high ground, and I'm not concerned about that so much; it was a different administration that made the deal. But you're right about the rest. Square one, with all their billions previously frozen now flowing. That is also why the deal was a disaster, but I'm repeating myself at this point (funding islamic terror, etc, etc).

bastardofmelbourne:

KingsGambit:
And the US President agrees with me.

Sure, but the US President is a colossal fucking idiot, so that's not exactly a plus in your column.

A close friend of mine summed him as a "crazy, orange man". I like the description. At least here however he's smart enough to see how bad Kerry's deal was. I don't care for him, but he's right in this instance so...maybe it's like a stopped clock thing.

I don't think I could do your reply justice so I'll leave it there.

KingsGambit:
Thanks for confirming the point I was making. I appreciate you backing up my argument.

You haven't actually provided any evidence at all that the decommissionings did not take place. Not just the centrifuges, but the Arak reactor core. No reason to trust you over the professional inspectors, the people who actually saw them.

Your evidence is based solely on... the theocrats not being nice people. No shit, so what? What does this prove? Are nasty people also incapable of acting in self-interest, and wanting the sanctions to end?

Silvanus:
You haven't actually provided any evidence at all that the decommissionings did not take place.

I never said they didn't take place. You correctly said 2/3rds were decommissioned under the agreement. Even if we accept that there's no funny business going on (which I don't, but you are free to believe what you will), unless my maths is off taking away 2/3rds of a thing leaves 1/3rd of the thing behind. Now 1/3 is greater than zero, ergo Iran still has centrifuges for enriching fissionable material.

KingsGambit:
I never said they didn't take place.

Oh. I took that to be the implication when you said that Iran was showing the inspectors "cherry picked empty rooms".

The deal, by the by, does not allow Iran to choose which rooms to show. The inspectors are guaranteed access to anywhere they deem suspicious.

KingsGambit:

You correctly said 2/3rds were decommissioned under the agreement. Even if we accept that there's no funny business going on (which I don't, but you are free to believe what you will), unless my maths is off taking away 2/3rds of a thing leaves 1/3rd of the thing behind. Now 1/3 is greater than zero, ergo Iran still has centrifuges for enriching fissionable material.

Yes, that it does. Which would severely slow down their ability to produce a weapon (since the major obstacle is production of enough material), but would not entirely prevent it.

Well, except for the fact that weapons-grade Uranium has to be about 90% enriched, and the deal limits enrichment to around 4%. So, useless for a weapon, but useful for nuclear power.

Really, though, it's a distraction for us to be arguing over the details of the plan ourselves. What I'm really wondering is why someone without any expertise in the topic, and without any access to the sites in question, would believe they know better than the trained professionals and experts who do have direct access to the sites.

bastardofmelbourne:

Seanchaidh:
This take is dogshit-tier transparent propaganda.

That's...overly harsh, I think.

It's true that this move benefits Russia. It will raise oil prices, which will aid Russia's oil-dependent economy. It will make Iran increasingly dependent on Russian and European markets. It depletes the international credibility of the United States, which weakens the US as a negotiator. And it gives Iran an excuse to return to its nuclear program, which escalates Iran-Saudi tensions, which benefits Russia by making Iran more dependent on their military support.

Now, it may not be that any of those facts are the reason why Trump cancelled the deal. I don't think they are; I think Trump withdrew from the deal simply because it was one of Obama's signature foreign policy achievements, and he hates Obama. But they're still facts, and I wouldn't dismiss them as dogshit propaganda.

There's another important detail that I forgot to mention. Remember that we learned from Michael Flynn scandal that he was supposed to help Russia build nuclear reactors across the Middle East? Iran is a Middle Eastern country that can't build nuclear reactors without access to nuclear power due to this deal.

And now Trump tweeted that he wants to help ZTE, a Chinese company that spies on American people and steals American technology. Remember that Steele's dossier mentions Trump's ties to Chinese businesses in forms of bribes. The guy is a traitor who doesn't give a flying fuck about anyone or anything other than his personal wealth. It's that fuckin' simple and out in the open.

That's been his MO his entire life. He scammed people for as long as anyone can remember, he refused to pay contractors and would instead send people to intimidate them. He's a scam artist with mafia connections. He literally had to pay $25 million during the elections because of his Trump University scam. It's not an exaggeration when I say that he doesn't care about anything other than money. He never did. Wake the fuck up.

Silvanus:
Really, though, it's a distraction for us to be arguing over the details of the plan ourselves. What I'm really wondering is why someone without any expertise in the topic, and without any access to the sites in question, would believe they know better than the trained professionals and experts who do have direct access to the sites.

The inspectors cannot pick any rooms they want. Iran put many restrictions on places they weren't permitted access to. But I'm not going to argue that point, it's irrelevant. But even ignoring it, the point is they still have thousands of centrifuges hard at work.

The difference is that for whatever reason, (correct me if I'm wrong) you seem to believe that Iran is honourable in its dealings, honest about not wanting nuclear weapons and willing to work to prove it. In actual reality, Iran is a theocratic dictatorship that will tell any lie to the west to pursue its nuclear ambitions, spends billions on funding islamic terror, frequently and publicly chants Death to America (and its presidents), has more than once vowed to wipe Israel from the map and is a brutal, tyrannical regime where women are stoned or hung for adultery, homosexuals are thrown from buildings and being an apostate results in execution.

Once you realise that Iran will stop at nothing to get the bomb and that most importantly the nuclear deal John Kerry made guaranteed them the bomb once it expired (even if you accept they kept it honestly), then you'll see how foolish and dangerous it is.

I don't care for Trump, but he's doing right by the middle east so far. Obama was a disaster at whose feet we can lay Syria, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. If he had acted on Syria earlier (ie. before Russia got involved), it might have saved 10s or 100s of 1,000s of lives. Trump took out Syrian military facilities when they started gassing civilians, Obama would have sent "thoughts and prayers", or maybe a strongly worded letter. I hope the President sanctions Iran hard, and when they refuse to stop (which I guarantee you they will), they'll need to be stopped with missiles.

And I don't need to be an expert. I know how to read so I know what the terms of the deal are. Or rather, were.

KingsGambit:
The inspectors cannot pick any rooms they want. Iran put many restrictions on places they weren't permitted access to. But I'm not going to argue that point, it's irrelevant. But even ignoring it, the point is they still have thousands of centrifuges hard at work.

When you say they "weren't permitted access"; the IAEA did not request access to the sites detailed in that article, because it did not suspect that nuclear-related activity was taking place there.

KingsGambit:

The difference is that for whatever reason, (correct me if I'm wrong) you seem to believe that Iran is honourable in its dealings, honest about not wanting nuclear weapons and willing to work to prove it.

I don't believe they're honourable, and I would be unsurprised if they wanted nuclear weaponry. That's not been my argument.

KingsGambit:

In actual reality, Iran is a theocratic dictatorship that will tell any lie to the west to pursue its nuclear ambitions, spends billions on funding islamic terror, frequently and publicly chants Death to America (and its presidents), has more than once vowed to wipe Israel from the map and is a brutal, tyrannical regime where women are stoned or hung for adultery, homosexuals are thrown from buildings and being an apostate results in execution.

The problem with this is that their being murderous assholes is not evidence that they did not comply with the terms of this deal.

This all speaks to their character. Character is relevant if we're judging their motives, and only their motives-- but if you intent to judge specific actions, you need direct evidence of those actions. Character is not enough.

KingsGambit:

Once you realise that Iran will stop at nothing to get the bomb and that most importantly the nuclear deal John Kerry made guaranteed them the bomb once it expired (even if you accept they kept it honestly), then you'll see how foolish and dangerous it is.

This repeated claim that the deal itself somehow guaranteed the bomb makes zero sense. The deal in no way increased their capability, and it in no way obligated them to make one. So, even if they developed one after the expiration of the deal, that development was not somehow a result of the deal itself.

Failure to prevent something is not somehow the same as guaranteeing it will happen.

KingsGambit:
Trump took out Syrian military facilities when they started gassing civilians, Obama would have sent "thoughts and prayers", or maybe a strongly worded letter.

Both empty gestures; one just happened to be more showy, and people fell for it.

KingsGambit:
Trump took out Syrian military facilities when they started gassing civilians, Obama would have sent "thoughts and prayers", or maybe a strongly worded letter.

Congress and large sectors of the US populace keep demanding the president should ask permission from Congress when he wants military action. Obama did that when Assad first used chemical weapons, and Congress, controlled by Republicans, wasn't interested. Then, a few years later with Trump as president, large numbers of those same Republicans said how important it was to show Assad a strong message about defending international norms, and no big deal that the president didn't bother to ask them before lighting the blue touch paper.

In other words, partisan bullshit at its finest.

Trump could do almost whatever he liked because he had the legislature covering (and sometimes wiping) his arse. Obama did not, and it made a big difference between the two to what was politically viable.

Silvanus:
This repeated claim that the deal itself somehow guaranteed the bomb makes zero sense.

Under the deal's terms, upon expiry Iran will be free to enrich what they want, in any quantity they want for any purpose without limit, restriction, sanction or oversight and none can be further enforced. All they have to do is play nice for a few years and once the deal expires, bomb. As many bombs as they want, and billions of dollars in the meantime to reward them. This is why Kerry is such a massive moron and Trump tore up the deal.

I cannot explain this any simpler than I have. If you still don't get the point, have a google or read the article I linked in my reply to bastardofmelbourne up top. I cannot speak to how accurate it is or is not, but it illustrates the point.

KingsGambit:
Under the deal's terms, upon expiry Iran will be free to enrich what they want, in any quantity they want for any purpose without limit, restriction, sanction or oversight and none can be further enforced.

The key words there being 'upon expiry'. That would be the same situation as if there was no deal at all. So, if expiration "guarantees they get a bomb" later, then by your own rationale tearing up the deal guarantees they get a bomb... just earlier.

This suggests that your issue with the deal is that it doesn't last forever...?

KingsGambit:

All they have to do is play nice for a few years and once the deal expires, bomb. As many bombs as they want, and billions of dollars in the meantime to reward them. This is why Kerry is such a massive moron and Trump tore up the deal.

I cannot explain this any simpler than I have. If you still don't get the point, have a google or read the article I linked in my reply to bastardofmelbourne up top. I cannot speak to how accurate it is or is not, but it illustrates the point.

You are taking issue with the fact that once the deal expires, then nothing prevents proliferation. How, then, is it a solution to destroy the deal now? All this does is bring that point forward.

I have to be missing something, here. To take issue with the deal because it has an expiration date, and simultaneously argue that the deal should be negated right now, is monumentally self-defeating and counter-intuitive.

KingsGambit:
-Snorp-

Except deals can be renewed and sanctions can be re-imposed if there's a need for them again.
You act like this is something that - once expired - can never be done again, diplomacy isn't a game where you lose every card you play.

Everyone pretty much knows that at some point Iran will get nukes. The entire point of this deal was to delay that, and now that's gone, so they'll get it now instead of later unless the other signatory nations can hold the deal together. Instead we're - the US - now threatening to sanction European businesses who do business with Iran, because this is Trump's game. He does whatever he wants - to hell with the consequences -, and bully everyone else into following him.

KingsGambit:
I cannot explain this any simpler than I have. If you still don't get the point, have a google or read the article I linked in my reply to bastardofmelbourne up top. I cannot speak to how accurate it is or is not, but it illustrates the point.

I cannot explain this any simpler than I have. Trump expired the deal. Iran is now allowed to have nukes. RIGHT NOW.

Trump has all but given nukes to Iran.

Silvanus:

KingsGambit:
Under the deal's terms, upon expiry Iran will be free to enrich what they want, in any quantity they want for any purpose without limit, restriction, sanction or oversight and none can be further enforced.

The key words there being 'upon expiry'. That would be the same situation as if there was no deal at all. So, if expiration "guarantees they get a bomb" later, then by your own rationale tearing up the deal guarantees they get a bomb... just earlier.

This suggests that your issue with the deal is that it doesn't last forever...?

KingsGambit:

All they have to do is play nice for a few years and once the deal expires, bomb. As many bombs as they want, and billions of dollars in the meantime to reward them. This is why Kerry is such a massive moron and Trump tore up the deal.

I cannot explain this any simpler than I have. If you still don't get the point, have a google or read the article I linked in my reply to bastardofmelbourne up top. I cannot speak to how accurate it is or is not, but it illustrates the point.

You are taking issue with the fact that once the deal expires, then nothing prevents proliferation. How, then, is it a solution to destroy the deal now? All this does is bring that point forward.

I have to be missing something, here. To take issue with the deal because it has an expiration date, and simultaneously argue that the deal should be negated right now, is monumentally self-defeating and counter-intuitive.

I'm assuming that what KingsGambit means is that when the deal was signed Iran would have been trying to make nukes, but after the deal they would be looking to make nukes as well as having gained in 10 years of lessened sanctions. So they delayed their nuclear ambitions in return for 10 years of whatever they'd have gotten with those sanctions removed, knowing at the end of those 10 years they could go back to making nukes. So its "Iran building nukes under sanctions" vs "Iran BNUS + stuff for lessened sanctions".
At least, I assume this is KingsGambit's argument.

TrulyBritish:

I'm assuming that what KingsGambit means is that when the deal was signed Iran would have been trying to make nukes, but after the deal they would be looking to make nukes as well as having gained in 10 years of lessened sanctions. So they delayed their nuclear ambitions in return for 10 years of whatever they'd have gotten with those sanctions removed, knowing at the end of those 10 years they could go back to making nukes. So its "Iran building nukes under sanctions" vs "Iran BNUS + stuff for lessened sanctions".
At least, I assume this is KingsGambit's argument.

Compare those two scenarios. In the former, Iran is able to build the weapons right now, as opposed to in ten years. Not only that, but they also have an increased motive to do so, because the United States has reneged on the deal it made. The US has proven itself untrustworthy in its international obligations.

In the latter, they can potentially begin building the weaponry in ten years' time. This is assuming that the deal is not renewed (or a replacement negotiated) as would be expected; it's also assuming that for some reason Iran is no longer happier to continue without the sanctions, as they are willing to do now.

Lessening the sanctions does not somehow increase their nuclear capability in ten years. Their capability would not even go back to what it was before, due to the moratorium on enrichment, and the export of 95% of U-235. Destroying the deal only increases both their motivation and their capability, as well as bringing forward the point at which they can begin.

Silvanus:

TrulyBritish:

I'm assuming that what KingsGambit means is that when the deal was signed Iran would have been trying to make nukes, but after the deal they would be looking to make nukes as well as having gained in 10 years of lessened sanctions. So they delayed their nuclear ambitions in return for 10 years of whatever they'd have gotten with those sanctions removed, knowing at the end of those 10 years they could go back to making nukes. So its "Iran building nukes under sanctions" vs "Iran BNUS + stuff for lessened sanctions".
At least, I assume this is KingsGambit's argument.

Compare those two scenarios. In the former, Iran is able to build the weapons right now, as opposed to in ten years. Not only that, but they also have an increased motive to do so, because the United States has reneged on the deal it made. The US has proven itself untrustworthy in its international obligations.

In the latter, they can potentially begin building the weaponry in ten years' time. This is assuming that the deal is not renewed (or a replacement negotiated) as would be expected; it's also assuming that for some reason Iran is no longer happier to continue without the sanctions, as they are willing to do now.

Lessening the sanctions does not somehow increase their nuclear capability in ten years. Their capability would not even go back to what it was before, due to the moratorium on enrichment, and the export of 95% of U-235. Destroying the deal only increases both their motivation and their capability, as well as bringing forward the point at which they can begin.

Yeah man, I agree with you on this, just trying to explain what I think is the issue Gambit has, seeing as you two seem to be arguing over the same point throughout the convo.

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