Monday, June 11, 2018

United Against Nuclear Iran Statement on Singapore Summit

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June 11, 2018

United Against Nuclear Iran Statement on Singapore Summit

New York, NY - United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President David Ibsen issued the following statement ahead of President Donald Trump's summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un:

"President Trump's negotiations must avoid the failings of the Iran nuclear deal.  This means no sunsets; anytime, anywhere inspections; tackling the ballistic missile file in addition to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program; and focusing on non-nuclear issues, like the DPRK's cyber assaults, human rights abuses, and chemical and biological weapons programs.

"Further, unlike in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the security and equities of U.S. allies in the region - namely Japan and South Korea - must be respected and guaranteed.

"With the stakes being so high, these are measures upon which there cannot be compromise.  No deal is better than a bad one."

Speaking on Fox News' Fox & Friends this past Sunday, UANI Chairman Joseph Lieberman further called on President Trump to avoid the JCPOA's mistakes when negotiating with North Korea:

"Ironically, going back to the Iran Nuclear Agreement, I'd say, 'Mr. President, remember all the criticisms that you made of the Iran Nuclear Agreement.  Because they're relevant here.  Don't want the agreement with North Korea more than the North Koreans did,' as he says and I agree with him.  It looked like the Obama Administration did.  Don't settle for a halfway measure that, 'Okay, we'll stop our nuclear development program now, but ten years from now, we'll start it again.'  Don't compromise on an inspection program that leaves a lot of North Korea open to whatever the North Koreans want to do just the way the Iran Nuclear Agreement did with Iran. 

"And then I'd say, 'Follow your instincts.'  This is big, it's important to that part of the world, it's important to the United States.  Basically, we think that the North Koreans could now reach anywhere in the United States with one of their intercontinental missiles, but in the end, it comes down to their relationship that these two very different men establish with one another."

To read more about this issue and to read more on UANI's recommended principles for negotiation, please see the background below.


Nuclear And Non-Nuclear Capabilities 
  • Any shutdown and dismantlement of the DPRK's nuclear program must be permanent.  No sunsets and no 'renting' of temporary compliance as in the JCPOA.
  • The ballistic missile equation - including missile proliferation activities - is inseparable from the nuclear file.

  • Anytime, anywhere inspections, including of military sites.  When the JCPOA was finalized we were promised unprecedented verification measures.  Unfortunately, 'unprecedented' does not equal 'sufficient.'  Any inspections regime must be sufficient for verification.  We must also establish the baseline of DPRK's prior nuclear weapons work to guide future inspections and verification activities.
Sanctions Relief

  • No upfront sanctions relief or financial concessions. Sanctions relief should be phased and delivered after verifications that nuclear activities have ceased.  Upfront financial concessions will certainly be pocketed, and U.S. leverage will subside.  Furthermore, a portion of any sanctions relief/financial concession should be allocated as food and/or medical aid for the North Korean people.
  • U.S. concessions must be realistic and plausible. Unfulfilled promises made by Secretary John Kerry during JCPOA negotiations damaged U.S. credibility, angered partners, and accelerated the JCPOA breakdown. 
International Allies And The U.S. Congress

  • Allies matter.  Japan and South Korea have equities here that need to be respected and their security guaranteed.  The JCPOA did no such thing with Israel and our Arab partners.
  • Any agreement must stand up to rigorous congressional scrutiny and have overwhelming bi-partisan support. A deal that divides the country and our allies will not last, as proven by the JCPOA.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Has Highlighted The Extensive Ties Between North Korea And Iran:

  • UANI: "The Iranian-North Korean Threat Is Compounded By The Two Nations' Cooperation, Especially In The Realm Of Nuclear And Ballistic Missile Development." "North Korea is notorious for its extensive and illicit export of ballistic missiles and related technology.  The threats posed by Iran and North Korea to the U.S. and its allies are broad and multifaceted, encompassing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and delivery, cybersecurity, transnational crime, human rights violations, and destabilizing regional activities.  The Iranian-North Korean threat is compounded by the two nations' decades-long record of cooperation, especially in the realm of nuclear and ballistic missile development.  Knowledge and technology flow both ways between these partners, enabling each to refine and advance their illicit proliferation activities." ("Iran & North Korea - Nuclear Proliferation Partners," UANI, Accessed 6/5/18)
  • UANI Senior Advisor Senator Mark Kirk: "With the clear understanding that Iran has played a central role in helping North Korea advance its missile technology, it's time for America to show that our rhetoric in response to rogue states is matched with concrete action... To show both North Korea and Iran that their actions are untenable, the Trump administration must follow through on its promise to impose further sanctions on those found to have helped Iran and North Korea share military technology.  With the clear understanding that Iran has played a central role in helping North Korea advance its missile technology, it's time for America to show that our rhetoric in response to rogue states is matched with concrete action." (Mark Kirk, "Remember Iran When Dealing With North Korea," Chicago Tribune, 12/8/17)

As A Potential U.S.-North Korea Summit Now Approaches, Iran Remains A Looming Presence Over The Talks:

  • The U.S. Exit Of The Iran Deal Has Been Linked To The North Korea Talks. "President Donald Trump's scrapping of the Iran deal he inherited raised the stakes for a North Korean agreement he hopes to build, a contradiction over two aspiring nuclear powers that pose the biggest foreign policy challenge yet for his administration.  The President didn't wait for his critics to link Iran and North Korea.  He proudly made the connection himself, standing in the Diplomatic Reception Room on Tuesday, declaring: 'Relationships are building.  Hopefully a deal will happen.'" (Jeff Zeleny & Kevin Liptak, "Trump's Iran Decision Raises The Stakes On North Korea," CNN, 5/9/18)
  • The Two Countries' Respective Nuclear Programs Have Been Compared To One Another. "And how many nuclear weapons does North Korea have?  'Some of the key experts are talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 40 nuclear weapons.  There have been press reports that the intelligence community is talking about 30 to 60,' he added.  'I think we have to recognize the uncertainties.'  By comparison, the U.S. knew much more about Iran's nuclear program when those negotiations took place.  Many details were collected by international inspectors, who haven't been allowed inside North Korea in years.  Iran reached a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.  Trump pulled out of the deal in May, though the other parties involved remain committed to the agreement for now." (Greg Myre, "The Spies Have A Leading Role In The North Korea Summit," NPR, 6/1/18)

Iran & North Korea Have Had A Long History Of Cooperating In The Proliferation Of Ballistic Missile Technology:

  • A May 2017 Report From The U.S. Intelligence Community Found North Korea Had Been Exporting "Ballistic Missiles And Associated Materials To Several Countries, Including Iran." "North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs will continue to pose a serious threat to US interests and to the security environment in East Asia in 2017.  North Korea's export of ballistic missiles and associated materials to several countries, including Iran and Syria, and its assistance to Syria's construction of a nuclear reactor, destroyed in 2007, illustrate its willingness to proliferate dangerous technologies." ("Worldwide Threat Assessment Of The US Intelligence Community," Director Of National Intelligence, 5/11/17)
  • In January 2017, Iran Launched A Missile That Was A Version Of North Korea's Intermediate-Range Missile, The Hwasong-10. "A ballistic missile launched by Iran on Sunday was North Korean in construction or design, according to the Pentagon.  The missile test, which ended in failure, was not a violation of 2015's Iranian nuclear deal, but arguably was in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.  Either way, this latest test could set Iran on a collision course with the Trump Administration, which has promised to take a hard line on Iran.  According to Reuters, the missile traveled 630 miles before it exploded, either by accident or by design.  There are no official details regarding what kind of missile it was, although it was certainly a ballistic missile.  An anonymous U.S. government official told Reuters the missile was launched from a test site near Senman, east of the Iranian capital of Tehran, and said it was the same type of missile last tested in April 2016.  As pointed out by arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis on Twitter, the Pentagon identified the July 2016 missile as a locally produced version of the Musudan, a North Korean intermediate-range missile.  Also known as the Hwasong-10, the missile is allegedly derived from an obsolete Soviet Cold War missile, the R-27 Zyb." (Kyle Mizokami, "Pentagon: Iran Tested A Ballistic Missile With North Korean Origins," Popular Mechanics, 1/31/17)

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United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons. 

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