Half-Truths and Israel-Blaming Don’t Make a Convincing Case for the Iran Deal

The reason [the Iran Deal] it is so controversial in the United States is because the political leader of Israel has said that the deal represents a mortal threat to the security of Israel. — Joe Cirincione

In dissecting the reality that is the confusion surrounding the impending deal with Iran, the Jewish Journal ran an article with an interview with Joe Cirincione. Cirincione is “a nuclear policy expert who served for nearly a decade on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, beginning during the Reagan administration.” He currently runs the Ploughshares Fund, which is dedicated to the eradication of nuclear weapons.

Sometimes all it takes is one line to really understand where someone is coming from.

Cirincione lays the blame for the Iran deal’s difficulties at the feet of Israel and its very vocal Prime Minister. Although Cirincione adds that Republican politics are at play as well, it is Israel that he calls out. Very telling.

That line is enough to undermine what he has to say on the Iran Deal because he cannot possibly be providing a unbiased appraisal of the deal.

But this is a lengthy interview and presents other points that are misnomers or half-truths.

Cirincione argues in favor of the current deal with Iran, and that Israel’s security will be enhanced by the deal. He calls Israeli’ Prime Minister wrong, saying “He’s wrong. Every single argument that he presents has been thoroughly answered and rebutted by the best and brightest national security and military experts in United States government”.

Cirincione seems to have not read that other nuclear experts, military experts, international leaders, and people in his own government are questioning the deal.

Arms-control expert David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former weapons inspector in Iraq, is quoted in the NY Times:

…three weeks might be ample time for the Iranians to dispose of any evidence of prohibited nuclear work. Among the possibilities, he said, were experiments with high explosives that could be used to trigger a nuclear weapon, or the construction of a small plant to make centrifuges.

Alan J. Kuperman, an associate professor and the coordinator of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas at Austin who published “The Iran Deal’s Fatal Flaw” in the NY Times as well:

By my calculations, Iran’s actual breakout time under the deal would be approximately three months — not over a year. Thus, the deal would be unlikely to improve the world’s ability to react to a sudden effort by Iran to build a bomb.

Then there are the several hundred military experts here in the US opposed to the deal.

In addition to these voices, there are reasoned and critical thinkers, experts on foreign policy, that are critical of the deal.

Robert Satloff has asked 10 questions to Obama via Jeffrey Goldberg, that cannot be ignored, or swept under the rug with “every argument has been thoroughly answered and rebutted” because they have not.

Lastly there is this mistake; “The history shows that you cannot stop a country from getting a nuclear weapon if that country is intent on getting one.”

When Israel destroyed Iraqi and Syrian nuclear facilities that stopped their respective weapons programs.

Certainly not everything Cirincione said is wro

ng. For example he said:

This deal keeps the conventional arms embargo on Iran in effect for five more years. Five years from now, will the embargo be lifted? Yes. This deal does not solve all our problems with Iran. It doesn’t address their support for Hamas and Hezbollah; it doesn’t address their human rights record; it doesn’t get American prisoners out of Iran.

What will not stop an Iranian nuclear weapons programs, in my opinion and the opinion of others, is this Iran deal, currently days away from passing, that will allow Iran to maintain a nuclear infrastructure capable of producing a nuclear weapons in three months —  all with the help and oversight of the United States.