By Aaron Kliegman To see just how useless the nuclear deal with Iran really is, look no further than the Arak nuclear reactor. Located near the city of Arak in central Iran, the reactor was designed to produce plutonium, giving the regime another potential pathway to nuclear weapons besides enriching uranium. The nuclear deal required Tehran to remove a key part of the reactor’s core, the calandria, which holds the nuclear fuel. It then called to fill the device’s tubes with cement, making the equipment unusable in future nuclear applications. Thus, Iran couldn’t use the Arak facility to pursue a plutonium path to a bomb. At least, that was the idea. In January 2019, however, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, described how the regime circumvented this section of the 2015 nuclear deal. He explained that Iran secretly acquired and stored replacement tubes, adding that only Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, knew about the decision. “We had bought the same quantity of similar tubes,” Salehi said. “When they told us to pour cement into the tubes … we said, ‘Fine. We will pour.’ But we did not tell them that we had other tubes. Otherwise, they would have told us to pour cement into those tubes as well. Now we have the same tubes.” Salehi explained that images showing the reactor core filled with cement were “photoshopped.” “Not only did we avoid destroying the bridges that we had built,” he added, “but we also built new bridges that would enable us to go back faster if needed.” And then just last week, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization announced that Iran will soon “cold test” its redesigned Arak nuclear reactor before fully commissioning it later this year. Cold testing of reactors usually includes the initial startup of fluid and support systems. “In other words, we have advanced work in the field of fuel, storage, etc.,” said a spokesman for the agency. What all this really means is that the Iranian regime cannot be trusted. Indeed, Iran says it plans to use the reactor at Arak to make isotopes for medical and agricultural use. Right. Because it’s perfectly normal for countries to use plutonium reactors for medicine and agriculture. Meanwhile, Western intelligence officials just told The Telegraph that Iran is hiding some of its nuclear activities and equipment that could allow the regime to build nuclear bombs from international officials. That report followed news of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finding evidence of undeclared nuclear activities in Iran. The evidence suggests the regime may have undertaken work on nuclear weapons. As these Iranian deceptions become public, Iran is continuing to ramp up its nuclear program. Last week, for example, the IAEA said the regime started enriching uranium at one of its nuclear sites with a second type of advanced centrifuge. At another nuclear site, Iran is enriching uranium to a purity of 20 percent. Both actions violate the 2015 deal. Iran’s goal here is obvious: to scare the Biden administration into lifting economic sanctions and rejoining the nuclear deal quickly. Iran knows that President Joe Biden wants to save the deal after his predecessor withdrew from it in 2018. But Biden can’t let Iran’s leaders bully him into doing their bidding. The president must also recognize that, until the regime stops lying and cheating about its nuclear program, the nuclear deal is unworkable. As unpleasant as high tensions between the US and Iran are, there’s something worse: the US pretending all is well with Iran’s nuclear program under the deal, only to be surprised in the not-so-distant future by Iran barreling toward a nuclear weapon with no good options to stop the dash. There is a nuclear deal that could work – even with Iran’s dishonest regime. The one being discussed just isn’t it. Newt hosts monthly virtual events in which he discusses news of the day and why it matters to you and your community. These Newt Live events are your opportunity to communicate directly with Newt. We hope you will join us next time and let Newt answer your questions and provide his insight on the issues that concern you most. JOIN TODAY to be a part of this special event and receive a BONUS GIFT. Click here to join Newt’s Inner Circle.