Center for Security Policy, By Frank Gaffney:
In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama committed national security fraud. He claimed to have “halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolled parts of that program back.” Unfortunately, it is becoming ever more apparent that the only thing he’s actually “rolled back” is the sanctions regime meant to halt that program.
For example, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that Iranian oil exports have increased by roughly one-quarter in the last month alone. China, Japan, South Korea and India are set to provide what amounts to life-support for the mullahs’ regime by buying vast quantities of the once-off-limits product. The Indians say they would like to purchase oil “exclusively from Tehran through 2015.”
According to the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, “exports of Iranian crude oil jumped to 1.32 million barrels, up from December’s high of 1.06 million barrels, according to data from the International Energy Agency…. The increase runs counter to a promise by the Obama administration that ‘Iran’s oil exports will remain steady at their current level of around 1 million barrels per day.’”
This statistic provides fresh evidence that the Obama administration perpetrated another fraud by declaring that the value to Iran of the deal’s sanctions relief would amount to no more than $7 billion. In fact, it appears that, thanks to increased oil sales, the mullahs will actually receive cash infusions of over $20 billion.
Since there are no restrictions on the use of even the $4.2 billion in frozen Iranian funds we are obliged under the deal to give back to Tehran – including on March 1st $450 million and a further $550 million on March 7th – and since money is, after all, fungible, it is likely that these windfalls will wind up financing activities that endanger us.
For one thing, Tehran is making plain that its nuclear program is not halted. Notably, Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif declared last month, “The White House tries to portray [the deal] as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again. If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment. We are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching over 5%.”
According to another senior Iranian negotiator, Abbas Aaraghchi, it would “take less than a day” to return to enriching uranium to the 20% level. In other words, the undoing of the sanctions regime – which is, as a practical matter, effectively irreversible – has been bought in exchange for what amount to gestures by the mullahs that can be immediately negated at will.
It is bad enough that Team Obama was completely snookered on the nuclear program. But Iran is deliberately adding insult to injury by its simultaneous and increasingly threatening behavior on other fronts.
Notably, Iranian ballistic missile capabilities continue to grow. Last week, Tehran tested two indigenously produced long-range Bina missiles. U.S. intelligence is said to believe Iran can have a missile capable of reaching the United States within two years. And, thanks to its extensive collaboration with North Korea on nuclear and missile developments – including so-called “space-launch” vehicles, we may face such a threat even sooner.
Meanwhile, Iran’s mullahocracy is ramping up the ominous presence and activities of its operatives in our hemisphere. Iranian agents conduct espionage, influence operations and collaboration with enemies of this country – from the region’s dictators to narco-traffickers – under diplomatic cover, the banner of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and that of Hezbollah. No good can come of an emboldened adversary acting with impunity in what should rightly be thought of as our front yard.
The latest addition to this combustible mix is Iran’s announcement that it will begin deploying warships off America’s coasts. It would be a mistake to discount this development as a symbolic act of no strategic import. At a time when U.S. naval resources are declining, the task of monitoring and, if necessary, countering such hostile warships may not receive the priority it deserves.
Alternatively, the presence of Iranian naval combatants may distract such attention as the Navy can provide from another threat: tramp steamers equipped to perform the sort of “Scud-in-a-tub” attack of which the blue-ribbon congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Commission warned years ago. Iran has put in place nearly all the required elements of such a strike – specifically, missiles capable of being launched from sea-going platforms, tested to deliver a device to apogee where a nuclear detonation would trigger a burst of electromagnetic energy that could have devastating effects on our electric grid and country. The one missing ingredient would appear to be a serviceable nuclear weapon. And, thanks to Team Obama, that may also be in the mullahs’ hands in short order.
America is being put at risk by Barack Obama’s serial national security fraud. Will he be held accountable for it, and corrective actions taken, before we are afflicted by the predictable consequences?