Peace Or War?

May 16, 2018

By  Mike Hersh, PDA Communications Director
for Donna, Mike F., Judy, Dr. Bill, Janis, Dan, Deb, Kimberly, and Bryan—Your PDA National Team

Tell Trump to Change His Mind and
Keep the Nuclear Peace Agreement

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is honored to count top experts among our number. One such expert is Paul Stokes, a PDA leader in New Mexico as well as Former Director of Analysis for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Iraq Action Team. Paul agreed to write inside analysis exclusively for us. Please read Paul’s article, then click here to tell Trump: Keep The Iran Deal.

Act Now! Tell Trump to Honor the Iran Nuclear Disarmament Deal!

Please give generously to our Resist Trump Action Fund

The Iran Agreement and Inspection Effectiveness by Paul Stokes

What a tragedy:  President Trump opts out of the nuclear deal with Iran that prevented Iran from enriching uranium to the level required for nuclear weapons production.  Maybe the other five nations that appreciate the deal can save it, and we’ll still benefit.

But I’d like to address the criticisms that have been directed at the inspection regime tasked with detecting cheating by Iran, if it should occur.  The inspection operations are the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  That agency has run inspections since the late 60s to detect any non-compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Because of that experience, it was given the responsibility of assuring that Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was shut down after the first Gulf War.  I was a member of the IAEA organization set up to do that job.  I ran some of the inspections, and was in charge of the analyses provided to the UN Security Council used to determine if Iraq was in compliance with its obligations to end its nuclear weapons program.

The Iraq inspection regime was, by far, the most thorough arms control inspection regime ever devised, and it was the model used to develop the inspections for the Iran deal.  It worked in Iraq, and it’s my understanding that a very similar framework was applied to Iran:

• First, Iran was required to declare all nuclear-related facilities.  Since Iran did not know what facilities intelligence sources might know about, it would be risky for them not to declare all such facilities.  Iran learned about this risk when the existence of a heavy water production facility and the Natanz enrichment facility was revealed.

• The declared facilities are routinely inspected to assure that illicit activities have not been undertaken.  When necessary, tamper-protected sensors are installed to provide continuous monitoring.

• If intelligence from any source detects suspicious activities that have not been declared, inspections can be arranged through the IAEA Additional Protocol.  A process called “managed access” for these inspections protects sensitive information from being revealed while allowing sufficient access to satisfy the purpose of the inspections.

Refusal by Iran to allow reasonable requests for inspections would be grounds for penalties such as increased sanctions or in the extreme, exiting the agreement and taking whatever actions were deemed appropriate.

• In addition to the use of visual, video, and process-measuring sensors, swipe samples collected by Iranian personnel under observation by IAEA inspectors can be taken.  Experience has shown that such samples are capable of detecting unavoidable leakage of trace amounts of nuclear materials that would be present in facilities enriching or otherwise processing fissile material.

• The IAEA Director General reports that “IAEA inspectors now spend 3000 calendar days per year on the ground in Iran.  We have installed some 2000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear material and equipment.”

• On-site inspections work hand-in-hand with intelligence-gathering resources.  The latter can identify suspicious activity throughout the region, while the inspections can determine what is going on at specific locations.

Some of us remember the doubts that were cast on the effectiveness of the Iraq inspections.  But the doubters finally conceded, after thorough re-inspection during the second Gulf War, that the inspections in Iraq told the truth.  I have every reason to believe that the same is true in Iran.

Paul Stokes
Former Director of Analysis IAEA Iraq Action Team

Many believe Trump is playing politics with international stability. He apparently hopes to placate his restless far right wing base by taking this unwarranted, reckless action. Please sign this petition to tell him to reconsider, to respect the US obligations under this multi-party deal, and stop to undermining our national security. Click here to Tell Trump: “Listen to Your Advisors and Our Allies—Don’t Increase Risks of Nuclear War.”

Of course this is just one of the countless outrages, abuses, and reckless actions Trump and his regime are perpetrating. PDA is leading the resistance against the Trump Regime. Join and support the movement we’ve been building since our launch in 2004, and the resistance we are leading now! We refuse to become Trump’s prey, and we need your help right now. Please donate generously to our Protest Trump Action Fund.

For Peace,

Mike Hersh, PDA Communications Director
for Donna, Mike F., Judy, Dr. Bill, Janis, Dan, Deb, Kimberly, and Bryan—Your PDA National Team

P.S. We need your help now. If you feel as we do, we hope you’ll use this action alert to tell Trump not to reneg on the multinational peace deal that has prevented Iran from seeking nuclear weapons. Please sign up with our Phone Team. No time to volunteer? Please donate $500, $50, or whatever you can afford now to help PDA and our allies stand up against Trump.

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