Published On: Sun, Dec 13th, 2015

Chicago Tribune Editorial: No Sanctions Relief Until Iran Explains Nuclear Past

IRAN NUCLEAR Arak-heavy-water-plant


In the wake of the recent International Atomic Energy Agency’s report confirming that Iran was covertly working to develop a nuclear bomb as late as 2009, the U.S. and its partners in the nuclear deal must keep sanctions in place until the regime “[fills] in the remaining blanks on its weapons program, ” a staff editorial in The Chicago Tribune argued on Thursday.

Although Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized in April that Iran must fully account for its nuclear past, saying “It will be done, ” the editorial noted that he has since backtracked and now claims “that the U.S. already knows enough about Iran’s past work and never expected a full confession.”

The editorial also pointed to Iran’s recent ballistic missile launches as reasons to be skeptical of the Islamic Republic’s commitment to abide by its obligations under the nuclear deal.

The U.S. and its negotiating partners on the nuclear agreement will get one chance to establish that the terms and conditions are solid, concrete, that Iran will be expected to strictly comply. Otherwise, this will start with the tacit understanding that routine noncompliance will be tolerated. Iran will get the signal that it can stonewall inspectors who seek to enforce the deal over the next decade.

The lifting of economic sanctions should be paused until Iran completely answers those questions about its practice nuclear work.

This information is vital. Without it, the West can’t accurately gauge Iran’s breakout capability — that is, how fast Iran could build a bomb if it decided to scrap the deal.

Noting that once sanctions are lifted, “they won’t be easily reimposed, ” the editorial concluded that the urgency isn’t to move forward on the deal, but “to demand that Iran deliver on its promises to come clean.” Staff


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