AIPAC has published a point-by-point list of responses to arguments made by supporters of the bad framework Iran deal. Anyone who believes a nuclear Iran would be bad for the world must read this!
In a memo published on its website, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) explained its opposition to the recent framework nuclear deal with Iran. It says, “We have significant concerns about the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran announced by the P5+1 on April 2. The emerging deal could leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state and encourage a Mideast nuclear arms race. We appreciate the work and laudable motives of the negotiators. However, proponents argue this deal is the best that could have been achieved, leaving the world now with only three choices: (1) accept this framework; (2) bomb Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and start another war in the Middle East; or (3) abandon negotiations and hope for the best. These are false choices – the real choice is between a deal that would leave Iran on the threshold of a nuclear weapons capability 10 or 15 years from now, and a deal that presents an opportunity to reach the stated goal of the negotiations: preventing Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
AIPAC then proceeds to spell out the arguments made by supporters of the Iran nuclear deal followed by responses made by detractors of the deal.
Best Deal Argument: This is the best possible deal. Iran is not going to simply dismantle its program because we demand it to do so. That’s not how the world works or what history shows us.
Response: This cannot be the best possible deal. As negotiations began in 2013, Iran’s economy was on the brink of collapse, and the clerical regime felt challenged at home. We failed to maximize our leverage and present Tehran with the choice of even more drastic sanctions unless it changed course. Instead, we eased sanctions and conceded its right to enrich uranium. We missed that opportunity, but there is still time to recreate it. If we don’t demand that Iran give up its most dangerous capabilities, Iran will be able to build nuclear weapons at a time of its choosing, truly confronting us then with the choice of bombing Iran or acquiescing to an Iranian nuclear weapon.
Good Enough Argument: While we did not achieve the objectives of nuclear and missile dismantlement, this agreement is good enough.
Response: Good enough cannot be the standard, especially for something so consequential. As it is said, “Good enough never is.” An agreement that leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold state with a reinvigorated economy and missiles that could hit the United States is clearly not in anyone’s interest, except Iran.
No Role for Congress Argument: This will be an executive branch agreement, as are many foreign policy agreements, not requiring congressional approval.
Response: Congress must have a role. An agreement with such profound national security implications as this one must be subjected to our constitutional system of checks and balances that is the bedrock of our democracy. If the agreement is as good a deal as the negotiators say it is, then it is likely to withstand congressional scrutiny, and the president should welcome congressional review. All of our most important arms control treaties have been supported by strong bipartisan majorities in the Senate.
Critics Want War Argument: Congressional critics, Israel, the pro-Israel movement, and the Sunni Arab neighbors of Iran all want war with Iran, not an agreement.
Response: No one wants war. This argument is outrageous and meant to silence and delegitimize any critics of the deal. Each of these parties wants a diplomatic solution that truly guarantees Iran’s nuclear program can only be used for peaceful purposes. They all fear that an agreement based on the current framework’s parameters won’t meet that test and will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Increased Access Argument: International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program. If Iran cheats, the world will know it.
Response: Iran has never provided complete access. It has always sought to hide its nuclear capabilities — and still does, preventing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to suspect sites and refusing to answer questions about its nuclear weaponization efforts. Moreover, a verification regime in which Russia and China can exercise a veto cannot be considered reliable. Everything we have discovered about Iran’s illicit nuclear program came through our intelligence or through evidence provided by defectors and dissidents. Inspections could add to our capabilities but cannot substitute for the security that would be achieved through dismantlement if we fail to move Iran away from its status as a nuclear threshold state.
Collapsing Sanctions Argument: Should negotiations collapse because it appears we rejected a fair deal, we will not be able to hold the current sanctions regime together.
Response: American leadership can hold the international community together. Because of the absolute necessity for the world’s financial institutions to have access to the American financial system, we have unique leverage in seeking to maintain sanctions. We should dedicate our diplomatic efforts to holding the coalition together and stepping up the pressure on Iran.
Iran Can Be Trusted Argument: Iran has met all of its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA).
Response: Iran’s leaders cannot be trusted. Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, which it continues to promote on a global basis; it has lied and cheated under its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations for three decades, building a whole nuclear infrastructure clandestinely. And it is actively cheating still. Iran continues to refuse to answer the IAEA’s questions about its efforts to weaponize, it continues to refuse access to IAEA inspectors, and it continues its illicit activity of importing sensitive nuclear technology. Until Iran comes clean, Iran can’t be trusted.
The Rush to a Bomb Argument: If we don’t go forward with this agreement, or if Iran walks away from the negotiating table, then Iran could rush to develop a nuclear weapon
Response: A return to negotiations is more likely than immediate nuclear weaponization. Over the last 10 years, Iran walked away from the table on multiple occasions, only to return after facing increased sanctions. The risk of Iran walking away – and staying away – are low. Continued sanctions will bring them back, just as sanctions brought them to the table in the first place. Iran knows a rush to weaponize risks a military attack on the very infrastructure that it has spent billions of dollars to build.
Inevitable War Argument: Do you think a verifiable deal, if fully implemented, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East?
Response: This agreement would allow Iran to be a nuclear threshold state and will likely set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. If a verifiable deal achieves our objective of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, of course it would be better than another war. But a deal that fails to meet our most minimal objectives, as this one may, guarantees either that there will be military action in the near term or that Iran and several other nations in the region will develop nuclear weapons capability. Additionally, it threatens globally the survival of the NPT.
Preserving Options Argument: This framework enables the president to preserve all options for use against Iran in the future.
Response: All options are not preserved if Iran gains a nuclear weapons capability. If the sanctions regime is dismantled and Iran’s economy recovers, Tehran can far more aggressively pursue its objectives in the region. It will be far more difficult to act in the future against a hegemonic nuclear-threshold Iran.
International Community Argument: The international community’s approval should suffice as the ratifying entity for the deal.
Response: Members of the UN Security Council, such as Venezuela, Malaysia, and Angola, should not have greater say than the U.S. Congress. Recent polling data (Pew Research Center, Rasmussen Reports, and Quinnipiac University) show the American people overwhelmingly support congressional review of any deal. The way ahead is to encourage bipartisan support for congressional review. Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), announced on April 2 their intention to move forward with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee mark up and vote on the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. The markup and vote is scheduled for Apr. 14. The legislation reasserts Congress’ ability to accept or reject any nuclear deal and prohibits the president from suspending congressional sanctions for 60 days following an agreement.
By: AIPAC and United with Israel Staff