The Corner

National Security & Defense

Here’s a Surprise: Iran Rejects Scrutiny of Its Weapons Program

The ink is barely dry on the Iranian nuclear agreement, and Iran is already threatening to walk:

Iran said Sunday there would be no final implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers unless a probe into allegations of past weapons research is closed.

The declaration, by a top security official, comes after the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said a report into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s activities would not be “black and white”

Iran has always denied seeking to develop an atomic weapons capability, insisting its nuclear programme is for peaceful energy production and medical purposes only.

Referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the July 14 agreement’s official name, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, said anything short of the watchdog’s probe being closed was unacceptable to Iran.

“Without the closure of the file regarding past issues, there is no possibility of implementing the JCPOA,” the official IRNA news agency reported him as saying.

This is typical. Jihadists never look at any agreement as “final” or “binding” or really even an agreement. Instead, each new understanding is the starting point for the next round of negotiations. Iran will keep pushing as long as it can.

Understanding the extent of Iran’s past weapons research is key to understanding its present capabilities, and it’s folly to think that we know all that we need to know about Iran’s activities. The U.S. shouldn’t yield. In fact, it should let Iran walk, cancel the agreement, and return to sanity. But since Barack Obama and John Kerry are involved, I suspect they’ll find a way to capitulate. Appeasing Iran, after all, is the entire point of the process.


David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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