December 11, 2018

Iran deal: Anatomy of a rip-off

Why am I opposed to the Iran nuclear deal? Because I hate getting ripped off. I would hate to buy a great-looking car and find out the next day that the brakes don’t work.

Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Buddhist or Jewish, no one likes getting ripped off. And the Iran deal, in my book, is a blatant rip-off. We’re paying a fortune for something we’re not even sure we will get. 

How much are we paying? Well, for starters, we’re giving international legitimacy to the world’s No. 1 state sponsor of terror. We’re offering $150 billion in sanctions relief to an oppressive theocracy that will empower it to strengthen its global terror network and wreak more havoc in the world’s most dangerous region. We’re allowing an evil regime to become a nuclear threshold state, on which all restrictions will be lifted in 10 to 15 years. And several years before that, we will lift restrictions on Iran getting intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of targeting nuclear weapons at major cities in America.

And what are we getting for all this? An extra nine months. We’re hoping we can push back Iran’s threshold for getting a nuclear bomb from the current three months to 12 months, and to keep those restrictions for a period of 10 to 15 years.

Why is that such a steal for the mullahs? Put yourself in their shoes. They will be rolling in the dough during these interim years, strengthening their hold on power both at home and abroad. They will be accepted as part of the community of nations. So, what’s the hurry? What’s the big deal about waiting 10 to 15 years to join the nuclear club? At that point, why should they care if they have to wait an extra nine months to get the bomb?

When I hear the argument that this is “the best deal we can get,” my answer is: You don’t pay for a Bentley and accept a Yugo.

But here’s where the real rip-off comes in: Because the Iranians are master cheaters, we’re not even sure we’ll get those extra nine months.

Virtually all experts agree that the Iranians will try to cheat and slip through every loophole they can find. It’s no secret that our inspections regime is full of loopholes, including this whopper: We won’t know where “undeclared” nuclear sites are, because the Iranians are not obligated to tell us. So, even if we do a great job inspecting the sites we know about, there will always be the danger of nuclear activity in the sites we know nothing about.

In a country twice the size of Texas, we will be playing hide-and-seek in the dead of night with the most experienced nuclear cheaters on the planet. And in the event we do find a suspicious site, a bureaucratic process will kick in that can take 24 days or longer before we are able to actually inspect the site.

And what happens if we can establish clear evidence of cheating? Another bureaucratic process kicks in to review possible sanctions, but since all violations will be treated equally, only the most severe violations will be subject to consequences.

I think you get the idea. This is the Swiss cheese of deals — so full of holes you can barely see the cheese. Assuming the deal passes in Congress, this is what we have to look forward to: We will empower an evil regime that loves to cheat in return for a temporary pushback in its nuclear program that we’re not even sure we will get.

No wonder they’re celebrating in Tehran while we’re agonizing in America.

When I hear the argument that this is “the best deal we can get,” my answer is: You don’t pay for a Bentley and accept a Yugo. For the enormous price we’re paying, we had every right to insist on President Barack Obama’s original commitment to “eliminate” the Iran nuclear threat — not just aim to contain it.

Not only have we abandoned this commitment, we have surrendered to immoral bullies. Seriously, how can the most powerful and successful country on earth cave to the demands of bullies with a crumbling economy who hang their gays and jail their reporters? How can our negotiators call such a lame deal “the best deal we can get”? And what does it say about our leaders that this is their definition of “best”?

The truth is, we’re paying so much for so little that it’s hard to see how a rejection by Congress can make things any worse. The mullahs are salivating at the prospect of closing this deal because they know it virtually guarantees the continued survival and domination of their regime. 

Their dirty little secret is that they don’t even need to cheat for this deal to be a steal. That’s why they’re smiling right now. They’re counting their blessings that the president of the United States is doing everything in his power to push the deal through.