One of the worst fictions created by Barack Obama and Ben Rhodes, his deputy national security advisor for strategic communication, was that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “shrink-wrapped” Iran’s nuclear program.
In reality, not only did the JCPOA fall far short of counter-proliferation precedent in the Libya and South Africa, but it also failed in formally getting Iran to ratify and put in force the Agreed Framework to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Rather than establish the world’s toughest restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry acquiesced to, at best, the 130th most restrictive inspections and verification regimen.
The debate about whether or not Iran’s ballistic missile tests violate the JCPOA and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 highlights just how full of loopholes Kerry’s signature deal was. One loophole is that it does not prevent Iran from experimenting with ever-more advanced and efficient nuclear centrifuges, never mind that it was Iran’s covert enrichment that caused first the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Board of Governors and then the United Nations Security Council to take up the Islamic Republic’s nuclear file in the first place.