Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Secretary of State John Kerry once said, that when it comes to negotiating with Iran about its nuclear weapons program, “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

Now it appears he is negotiating for any deal.

The Obama Administration is considering what was once unacceptable—allowing the Iranians to maintain the capacity to continue enrichment activities at Fordow. This is no ordinary site. It is a fortified, underground military bunker built into the side of a mountain. It was constructed in secret and serves one purpose—to covertly produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium. 

The Associated Press reports that “[I]n return, Iran would be required to scale back the number of centrifuges it runs at its Natanz facility and accept other restrictions on nuclear-related work.” 

Citing officials involved in the talks on background, the Associated Press story indicates that instead of uranium, any centrifuges at the Fordow facility “would be fed elements such as zinc, xenon or germanium for separating out isotopes used in medicine, industry or science.” 

Any agreement of this nature would rely on Iran’s commitment to allow international inspectors to verify compliance. This is far too much trust to place in a regime that regularly deploys double-talk, delay tactics and manipulation when it comes to dealing with the international community. There is absolutely no reason, given the regime’s history, to believe that international inspectors will have the ability to honestly see what is going on at Fordow. None. 

This troubling report shows the negotiations have moved a long way from the Obama Administration’s original position that Fordow must be shuttered. We have reached a point in the negotiations where the U.S. and our allies have conceded the upper-hand to the Iranians.

If this report is accurate, we will not achieve what the President promised at the onset of these talks. If President Obama is unwilling to walk away from a bad deal, once the guiding principle of the negotiations, Congress must have the authority to reject it.