Published by: New Haven Register

Sep. 6, 2015

Just like the atomic bomb itself, the impact of the Iran deal could mean lasting harm for generations to come.

By capitulating on principle after principle after principle during negotiations, the western powers have handed the Ayatollah regime a stamp of approval for their nuclear ambitions and program while at the same time flooding them with billions of dollars that will more likely fund global terrorism in the near future.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, by the admission of its biggest defenders, will put Iran one short step away from a nuclear weapon, when the “sunset clause” kicks in at year 16. By then, they could have a whole fortified uranium enrichment industry capable of spinning out an arsenal of nuclear warheads, and western powers will be able to do nothing about it, because they will have signed a document saying that it is perfectly legitimate.

Leaders of the western powers have been very clear about the fact that Iran has been trying to get the bomb until now. Is there any reason to believe that will change? This regime has been clinging to power by means of repression, persecution and intimidation — and has made it perfectly clear that they intend to continue. This means that the same cohort of radical Islamist clerics that have been trying to lie and cheat their way to a bomb for the last two decades will be able to stroll into the nuclear club under the auspices of this deal in the next decade.

It is true that taking the very last step of ramping up the uranium from 20 percent to 90 percent and actually mounting the material into a warhead will be a violation of the agreement on the part of Iran. But by that stage, Iran will be able to take this step at lightning speed — much faster than it would take for an international coalition to pull itself together — and there will be nothing but paper handcuffs to stop them from doing so. Once the warhead has been mounted, Iran will enjoy the same immunity and impunity enjoyed by North Korea today.

The “buying time” argument is no less misguided. For while we are “waiting” for Iran to complete its nuclear weapons capabilities, we will be kept busy by a huge surge in Iranian terrorism, subversion and aggression, financed by hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief. At the receiving end of this aggression will be not just Israel but the moderate Arab states of the region as well.

Nonetheless, this deal welcomes Iran back into the international community even while it continues to sponsor global terror, persecute gays and minorities and openly calls for the destruction of the United States and Israel. It’s like letting a murderer out of prison when he’s openly threatened to kill again.

Given the nearly unconditional relief of international sanctions and an invitation to join the global economy, what incentive will Iran have to change its terrorist policies or end its oppressive rule against its own people? This is why, according to several reliable public opinion surveys, a majority of Americans and Israelis from all sides of the political spectrum respectably see this as a catastrophe in the making.

But Israel is not against any deal. Israel is against this specific bad deal.

Finding a real diplomatic solution is always better than jumping into a war. No one disputes that fact. But if anything, a diplomatic move as ineffective as this deal will only make war more likely. Unfortunately, many supporters of this deal accuse its opponents of wanting war as its only alternative, and that just is not true.

Rather than defending this deal — which to be fair, is extraordinarily difficult to do — some proponents of the deal have resorted to discrediting its critics. A policy issue as crucial and historic as this deserves a higher level of public debate. This deal does not provide a comprehensive diplomatic solution, but rather introduces a whole new set of problems.

The best alternative to this deal is not war. It is a better deal. While keeping a credible military threat on the table, the world powers can and must strengthen economic sanctions against Iran, just as they successfully did in the past, to bring Iran back to the negotiating table once again. This time, the deal they strike must permanently prevent Iran’s ability to obtain and enrich weapons-grade uranium and demand that Iran cease its support for global terrorism in exchange for sanctions relief.

Would this be difficult to accomplish? Yes. But it is a viable alternative and an approach that has worked before.

It is not too late. If the powers that negotiated with Iran are committed to forcing Iran back to negotiations, the world will again follow. No legitimate player on the international stage will choose to do business with Tehran over doing business with New York if the United States leads a strengthened sanctions regimen against Iran.

The opportunity to strike a better deal without having to place trust in the Iranian regime or legitimizing Iran’s military nuclear ambitions will once again be attainable.

With a resolute commitment to a good diplomatic solution, a truly nuclear-free Iran can be achieved for the benefit of the entire international community.