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Bryan Schwartz

Bryan Schwartz on the Iran Nuclear Agreement : Deal is Far from Being an Adequate Barrier to Iran's Nuclear Path to Genocide

by Bryan Schwartz, August 9, 2015



Editor's Note: Below is the speech delivered by Prof Bryan Schwartz at the Winnipeg Friends of Israel Rally on the Iran Nuclear Agreement at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Grounds on July 30, 2015 ] 


My English name is Bryan Schwartz.  I am a law professor.   I have published and taught extensively in areas that include international law.  


 My Hebrew name is Binyamin.


I was named after my grandmother's brother, Binyamin Green.  In the late 1920s, living in Poland, he foresaw the Holocaust.  He warned his family to get out if they could.    My grandmother was able to.   He was a physician, so was not allowed to leave.   He was betrayed by a neighbour and murdered along with his wife and children.   So was every other member of my grandmother's family living in Europe.  After the war her only close living blood relations on earth were her own children.


The only memorial in the world to my namesake is here at the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature. It was dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust victims who have surviving family members here in Manitoba.  There is no other monument, no gravestone, no marker, anywhere in the world for him or millions of others.


The idea for the Holocaust memorial on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature came from my late father in law Philip Weiss.   He was a survivor of five concentration camps.


My own children are two generations from the ashes. 


They live in a world where antisemitism is at a height not seen since the 1930's.   In Europe, I would not feel safe wearing the Jewish symbol for life, the letters “chai”, anywhere in public.  


They have been murderous anti-semitic attacks in France, in Belgium, a rising wave of anti-semitic incidents in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.[2]


And what of Israel itself, where most of the remaining Jews in the world live, where more are going for a safe haven?


The President of the United States says this deal protects Israel. 


He acknowledges Iran's aggressiveness, but says it is it is easier to deal with Iran when it does not possess nuclear weapons.


This deal is far from being an adequate barrier to Iran's  nuclear path to genocide.


The inspections regime is weak.  As Prime Minster Netanyahu has explained, it could take three months to finally inspect a suspicious site. [3]


And what are the consequences if Iran cheats Iran cheats as it has so many times on so many other agreements? President Obama says there is provision for the sanctions to be reinstated.


The reality is that it is almost certain there will be no snapbacks of sanctions  in response to new Iranian evasions and cheating.


Suppose Iran were in breach of the agreement .Suppose the United States wants to do something about it.   It would have to convince a majority of the seven parties to the deal, including Iran to agree.[4]   Who will be in that majority of four? Iran?  Russia?  China?   If not, you need everyone single one of the European states UK, Germany, France. They may have powerful business interests in Iran.  They may have leaders who are hostile to Israel.


What if the US somehow goes all the way to the Security Council, and sanctions are restored?   They will not apply to any business deals already in place.  And will any party, for example, Russia, that votes against restoring sanctions actually enforce them?


And if sanctions are restored against Iran?  Its regime has stated in express terms in the deal its intention to regard the deal as over.[5]


End of the deal?  Would a President like Obama be willing to seek renewed international sanctions if that means the end of the deal?   He keeps threatening that no deal means war. [6]   He is actually threatening only his own side, not Iran, because Iran does not believe he has the will to take military action.


Teheran is not afraid of a US President who keeps saying he was elected to end wars, not start them, who has abandoned Iraq, who led from behind in Libya and left it in chaos.


But supposed there is some resolve by a future US president to respond to a breach by Iran using individual sanctions by the United States.


He could not respond through national sanctions – including reimposing ones that have been waived by executive action - without breaching the deal.[7]


Under paragraph v of the preamble of the deal:


"This JCPOA will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy."


Nowhere in the deal does it preserve the right of the United States to individually impose sanctions on Iran if there is a proven breach of the agreement.  


This President, without 2/3 of the Senate to ratify a treaty, without a majority in congress, will have approved a deal whereby the United States cannot  make its own decision to impose sanctions to respond to breaches of the agreement.


The special restrictions on Iran are not only weakly enforced, they are temporary.


Afterwards, Iran will be in a position as any other state in the world that is a party to the Non-proliferation Agreement.    


A nuclear deal was signed with North Korea in 1994.   North Korea exploded a device within a decade, and its regime is just as tyrannical to its own people and hostile to the worl

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.