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Debate over Iran Nuke Deal Intensifies

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 2:12 pm (UTC-4)
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What happens if the Senate rejects the Iran deal

Joseph Cirincione – Los Angeles Times

The nuclear agreement with Iran is supported by almost every nation in the world. It has the backing of nearly the entire American security establishment, current and retired. It enjoys the overwhelming support of nuclear scientists and policy experts….

And yet, with almost a month to go before the vote, lobbying against the deal is intense. No Republican senator supports the agreement. Two prominent Democratic senators, Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez, have denounced it….

If Congress blocks the deal, no nation, least of all Iran, will believe that the United States is capable of making and keeping a new agreement. U.S. credibility would collapse faster than the Chinese stock market.

Hard-liners in Iran would also reassert their dominance. If you liked the Iranian government led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you are going to love the new one that would sweep into office once the centrist government of Hassan Rouhani is thrown out in disgrace. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would announce that he was right not to trust the Americans. The hopes of the young, educated population for a new chance at reform would be crushed.

Watch: President Obama argues for landmark nuclear pact with Iran at American University


How To Put Some Teeth into the Nuclear Deal With Iran

Dennis Ross and David Patraeus – The Washington Post

Like us, the undecideds see its benefits: The deal would block the uranium enrichment, plutonium separation and covert paths to a nuclear bomb for the next 15 years.

Compared with today, with an Iran that is three months from break-out capability and with a stockpile of 10 bombs’ worth of low-enriched uranium, there can be little doubt that a deal leaves us far better off , producing a one-year break-out time and permitting the Iranians less than one bomb’s worth of material for the next 15 years….

…Why are we still undecided? Put simply, because the deal places no limits on how much the Iranians can build or expand their nuclear infrastructure after 15 years. Even the monitoring provisions that would continue beyond 15 years may prove insufficient as the Iranian nuclear program grows….

Now is the time to make it clear that there will be a firewall between Iran’s threshold status and its having a nuclear weapon. Now is the time for the Iranians and the world to know that if Iran dashes toward a weapon , especially after year 15, that it will trigger the use of force. At that point, it would be too late for sanctions to preempt an Iranian nuclear fait accompli.

Why Republicans Reject the Iran Deal — and All Diplomacy

Nicole Hemmer and Tom Switzer – The New York Times

Although not all conservative Republicans share it, the tendency to reject diplomatic deals is rooted on the right of the American political spectrum….

Since the early 1950s, many conservatives — conditioned to think in Manichean terms of absolute victory or total surrender — have opposed major peace initiatives on the grounds that they were forms of surrender and appeasement. Rather than making the world safer, they argued, such diplomatic deals weakened America’s global standing.

The antipathy toward diplomacy so often found on the right goes back to what conservatives see as the original sin of postwar diplomacy: the 1945 Yalta Conference. The meeting between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin recognized Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe, where the Red Army had established itself in its westward march to Germany.

For hardliners, Yalta represented the sell-out of the “captive nations” of Eastern Europe and the start of the Cold War.

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