Passing the Buck with the Sunset Clause


As we wrote in our earlier post, the fear of the West is not really about the number of centrifuges nor on the amount of enriched uranium in the Iranian nuclear program: those are only means to an end. The real fear is not about the means themselves but about the “end” that the regime leaders envision.

Khamenei denies wanting a bomb but continues to glorify martyrdom while threatening to annihilate Israel. If so, a nuclear bomb would be a perfect solution since it would wipe Israel off the map as well as create hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of martyrs in the name of Islam.

The whole idea of sanctions and a nuclear deal with Iran is to ensure that Iran doesn’t militarize its nuclear program.

The infamous ten-year “Sunset Clause” in the looming deal only ensures that Obama will pass the buck on to whoever will be around by then. No more, no less.


What is the Sunset Clause?

expired red square stampThe Sunset Clause is not a precedent: most deals have an expiry date. Quite simply, once the nuclear deal is signed and the sanctions are lifted, a ten-year countdown begins and at the end of those ten years, Iran is free to legally do what it wants with its nuclear program.

At first, the US wanted 20 years but after much haggling, the 10 year mark seems to be sinking in on both side: After many denials from Tehran, Zarif finally hinted that Tehran would agree to a ten-year freeze as long as all sanctions were lifted from day one.

The Sunset Clause is touted as one of the major concessions by the West to Khamenei since it would relieve Iran of sanctions while leaving the nuclear program intact.

Khamenei might not be around by then but his successor will – why should we believe that his successor won’t share Khamenei’s goals in another 10 years?


Sunset Clause not When but If…

carrot-on-stickA better nuclear deal would not only focus on a ten-year freeze but act as a permanent deterrent for Iran to militarize its program.

That does not mean that there should not be time limits but they must be subject to the actions and the rhetoric of the regime leaders and not automatically expire on a certain date.

It seems only logical that if sanctions were slapped on to Iran because of its nuclear transgressions vis-à-vis the IAEA since 2002 and the fiery rhetoric of Tehran’s leaders, sanctions should be reinstated the minute Tehran transgresses again on nuclear guide-lines or in its apocalyptic rhetoric.

It can’t just be about “when”…it has to include a big “if”.



At the end of the day, nobody really knows what will happen during those ten years and what will happen after ten years.

Introducing an expiry date on a nuclear deal without regards to Iran’s actions and goals is simply hiding our heads in the sand while hoping that the regime in Tehran will change its tune.

If it doesn’t, the Sunset Clause may lead to the rise and explosions of nuclear suns.


3 thoughts on “Passing the Buck with the Sunset Clause

  1. There’s one positive to the current situation: the impending nuclear bomb race in the Middle East will lead to a bonanza in uranium mining stocks as the price for ore skyrockets!

  2. Pingback: Nuclear Deal, If… | IRAN 24/07

  3. Pingback: Nuclear Deal Requires more Intent and less Content | IRAN 24/07

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