The Bogus Iran Deal Could Learn from the SALT Treaties

The Iran nuclear agreement should be considered a treaty much as other accords governing arms control were, particularly SALT I and II in the 1970s.  Throughout the negotiations, there were many points of contention, but also agreement.  Congress, Nixon, Brezhnev, and others cooperated to resolve their differences, all within constitutional restraint.

Whereas SALT culminated in a historic treaty that heralded the fall of communism in the following decade, the Iranian nuclear "agreement" was nothing more than capitulation.  Its provisions missed the point while Iran's bellicosity missed the form.  The implications of a nuclear-armed Iran are real for both the U.S. and our allies.

SALT I, signed on May 26, 1972 in Moscow, had two important provisions.  These provisions could be considered quid pro quo provisions with the net result of parity between the USA and the USSR.  The first provision was designated the Treaty of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Systems.  The treaty limited each side to only one ABM deployment area (i.e., missile-launching site) and 100 interceptor missiles.  Here we see a beautiful, symmetrical commitment.  Also, it is worth noting that this treaty was ratified by the Senate, whereas, to the consternation of concerned citizens throughout our country, the Obama treaty with Iran was presented not as a treaty to be ratified by the Senate, but as an agreement or deal to be voted through by votes of confidence in the House and Senate.

The other important provision of SALT I was called the Interim Agreement and Protocol on Limitation of Strategic Offensive Weapons.  This agreement froze each side's number of ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) for five years.  Again, there was parity.  The arms race was dramatically slowed down.  Both sides clearly benefited.

SALT II was a much more complex negotiation between the USA and the USSR, taking close to seven years.  Finally, agreement was reached limiting and equalizing the number of MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles – i.e., missiles with multiple warheads, each capable of being launched separately) as well as heavy bombers.  It is worth noting that it took seven years and was called a treaty, meaning it had to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.  There was no faked sense of urgency such as we saw with "the deal" consummated by the Obama-Kerry negotiations.  Rather, the whole SALT process had a gravitas befitting negotiations intended to make a safer world.  However, before SALT II came to a vote in the Senate, Carter took it off the table as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Compare those serious and technical SALT negotiations, which resulted in parity of arms reduction, with the long march of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the Security Council of the United Nations, and the P5+1 (namely, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plus Germany) to deal with the Iranian efforts to produce 20% enriched uranium as well as plutonium (both essential for weapons-grade nuclear production) through the Clinton and Bush years, and even into the Obama presidency.  It is especially concerning to think Russia is on board with the deal affirmed by Pres. Obama, since Russia has been helping Iran play its strategic mind games since the 1990s and the Clinton presidency.  It is a timeline of deception and duplicity.  Facilities were being hidden by Iran and then acknowledged by Iran when they could no longer remain hidden.   

The mullahs have made it clear that they cannot be trusted to implement the agreement with fidelity.  The recent emergence of dubious "side deals"  gives Iran wide latitude to undermine inspection and enforcement regimes, particularly at Parchin and Natanz.  Moreover, funding will be used for support of her military and terrorist proxies once assets have been unfrozen.  As recent events have shown, Russia is already modernizing air defense systems and intending them for Iran.  The potential for the annihilation of Israel and the U.S. because of these is now not so far remote.  If history is a guide, then time will prove the consequences far more detrimental than even its stalwart supporters envisioned.

It does not need to be so.  At the very least, the administration could have seized upon the opportunity for preconditions as gestures of goodwill.  Four Americans now sit in Iranian jails, and a demand for their immediate release would have been most opportune.  A renunciation of terror and recognition of Israel's right to exist, to say nothing of our own, are essential demands that were not to see the light of day.  The release of Iranian assets should have come in stages and been made contingent upon all of this.

Finally, good deals can be negotiated only through positions of strength and a willingness to learn from history.  Good deals are made only when each side trades something in return for what it wants more.  Much to the consternation of its most discerning critics, the administration acted with reckless abandon by using the opportunity not as a means to weaken Iranian resolve, but as a pretext to preserve legacy.  The U.S. got nothing.  While Pelosi cheerleads the agreement as a "masterwork of diplomacy," "the deal" makes it easier for our security to be destroyed with impunity by the duplicitous mullahs and ayatollahs.  Iran now has a clear path to a nuclear bomb because of Obama's hatred of a Republican Congress.

The Iran nuclear agreement should be considered a treaty much as other accords governing arms control were, particularly SALT I and II in the 1970s.  Throughout the negotiations, there were many points of contention, but also agreement.  Congress, Nixon, Brezhnev, and others cooperated to resolve their differences, all within constitutional restraint.

Whereas SALT culminated in a historic treaty that heralded the fall of communism in the following decade, the Iranian nuclear "agreement" was nothing more than capitulation.  Its provisions missed the point while Iran's bellicosity missed the form.  The implications of a nuclear-armed Iran are real for both the U.S. and our allies.

SALT I, signed on May 26, 1972 in Moscow, had two important provisions.  These provisions could be considered quid pro quo provisions with the net result of parity between the USA and the USSR.  The first provision was designated the Treaty of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Systems.  The treaty limited each side to only one ABM deployment area (i.e., missile-launching site) and 100 interceptor missiles.  Here we see a beautiful, symmetrical commitment.  Also, it is worth noting that this treaty was ratified by the Senate, whereas, to the consternation of concerned citizens throughout our country, the Obama treaty with Iran was presented not as a treaty to be ratified by the Senate, but as an agreement or deal to be voted through by votes of confidence in the House and Senate.

The other important provision of SALT I was called the Interim Agreement and Protocol on Limitation of Strategic Offensive Weapons.  This agreement froze each side's number of ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) for five years.  Again, there was parity.  The arms race was dramatically slowed down.  Both sides clearly benefited.

SALT II was a much more complex negotiation between the USA and the USSR, taking close to seven years.  Finally, agreement was reached limiting and equalizing the number of MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles – i.e., missiles with multiple warheads, each capable of being launched separately) as well as heavy bombers.  It is worth noting that it took seven years and was called a treaty, meaning it had to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.  There was no faked sense of urgency such as we saw with "the deal" consummated by the Obama-Kerry negotiations.  Rather, the whole SALT process had a gravitas befitting negotiations intended to make a safer world.  However, before SALT II came to a vote in the Senate, Carter took it off the table as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Compare those serious and technical SALT negotiations, which resulted in parity of arms reduction, with the long march of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the Security Council of the United Nations, and the P5+1 (namely, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plus Germany) to deal with the Iranian efforts to produce 20% enriched uranium as well as plutonium (both essential for weapons-grade nuclear production) through the Clinton and Bush years, and even into the Obama presidency.  It is especially concerning to think Russia is on board with the deal affirmed by Pres. Obama, since Russia has been helping Iran play its strategic mind games since the 1990s and the Clinton presidency.  It is a timeline of deception and duplicity.  Facilities were being hidden by Iran and then acknowledged by Iran when they could no longer remain hidden.   

The mullahs have made it clear that they cannot be trusted to implement the agreement with fidelity.  The recent emergence of dubious "side deals"  gives Iran wide latitude to undermine inspection and enforcement regimes, particularly at Parchin and Natanz.  Moreover, funding will be used for support of her military and terrorist proxies once assets have been unfrozen.  As recent events have shown, Russia is already modernizing air defense systems and intending them for Iran.  The potential for the annihilation of Israel and the U.S. because of these is now not so far remote.  If history is a guide, then time will prove the consequences far more detrimental than even its stalwart supporters envisioned.

It does not need to be so.  At the very least, the administration could have seized upon the opportunity for preconditions as gestures of goodwill.  Four Americans now sit in Iranian jails, and a demand for their immediate release would have been most opportune.  A renunciation of terror and recognition of Israel's right to exist, to say nothing of our own, are essential demands that were not to see the light of day.  The release of Iranian assets should have come in stages and been made contingent upon all of this.

Finally, good deals can be negotiated only through positions of strength and a willingness to learn from history.  Good deals are made only when each side trades something in return for what it wants more.  Much to the consternation of its most discerning critics, the administration acted with reckless abandon by using the opportunity not as a means to weaken Iranian resolve, but as a pretext to preserve legacy.  The U.S. got nothing.  While Pelosi cheerleads the agreement as a "masterwork of diplomacy," "the deal" makes it easier for our security to be destroyed with impunity by the duplicitous mullahs and ayatollahs.  Iran now has a clear path to a nuclear bomb because of Obama's hatred of a Republican Congress.

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