In an online article featured on Media Matters, four frequently used false claims made by the opposition to the nuclear agreement are debunked. To counter the falsehoods of various Op-Eds and editorials of opponents to the Iran Deal, the Center was sourced and quoted three times.
“FALSEHOOD: Iran Has A Secret, Advantageous Side Deal With International Atomic Energy Agency”
Center On Arms Control And Non-Proliferation: Confidential Inspections Have Proven Trustworthy And Shield Informants Who Help Ensure Effective Inspections. According to the Center On Arms Control and Non-Proliferation (CACNP), bilateral confidential agreements like the one in the just-concluded Iran nuclear deal have featured in many nuclear arms reduction deals – most recently with Libya. CACNP has warned that revealing information about agreements between the IAEA and Iran could jeopardize potential informants.
Under the deal, Iran must submit a full report to the IAEA regarding its nuclear history before it can receive any sanctions relief. The IAEA will review the report and follow-up with Iran in order to conclude its investigation. The IAEA has said that it expects to complete this report by the end of 2015.
Some critics are calling this a secret side deal between the IAEA and Iran; however, this is standard operating procedure, and every such agreement the IAEA has with other countries is also confidential. This was even true during the IAEA’s inspections into Libya. While the general public is not privy to the details of the arrangement, it is safe to assume that the United States government has been fully briefed on the procedures.
The arrangement specifies procedural information regarding how the IAEA will conduct its investigation into Iran’s past nuclear history, including mentioning the names of informants who will be interviewed. Releasing this information would place those informants, and the information they hold, at risk.
“FALSEHOOD: Sanctions Relief Will Greatly Increase Iran’s Ability To Fund Terrorism”
Center On Arms Control And Non-Proliferation: Sanctions Relief Will Mostly Go To Servicing Iran’s Outstanding Debts And Repairing Crippled Economy. CACNP citied a CIA report that showed much of the money that enters Iran after the sanctions are lifted would go to propping up the economy and paying down debts.
Furthermore, according to a report recently released by the CIA, Iran will use most of the released funds it receives from sanctions relief to bolster its economy, not to aid militant groups it supports.
Iran needs to invest in domestic development and reinvigorate its economy. Iranian President Rouhani has promised to revive the economy by completing formerly halted development projects and bringing down the rate of inflation–progress the Iranian people have been demanding.
Critics of the Iran deal like to exaggerate the amount of blocked funds Iran will receive, claiming that Iran will receive up to $300 billion in sanctions relief. According to US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, that figure is more like $50 billion. Iran owes at least $20 billion to China in addition to tens of billions in non-performing (unpaid) loans and has around $500 billion worth of pressing domestic investment requirements and government obligations.
Richard Nephew, Program Director of Economic Statecraft, Sanctions and Energy Markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, suggested “the issue of Iranian support for terrorism is not whether they have the financial resources to do it but rather whether they have the political will, opportunity, and foreign policy incentive… to do so. A nuclear deal will not change this.” [Center On Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, 8/3/15]
CACNP: If The Deal Is Rejected And Iran Obtains A Bomb, Terrorist Allies Could Benefit From Protection Of Nuclear Deterrence. CACNP warned that “if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, the nuclear deterrent that Iran would extend to its terrorist allies would pose an even greater threat. This deal eliminates that threat, preventing a dramatically worse security situation.” [Center On Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, 8/3/15]