In a couple of days, our news media is going to be consumed with what Prime Minister Netanyahu said to Congress about a possible deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. As a reminder, Netanyahu has said that he “will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement.”
Your assignment – should you chose to accept it – is to be prepared by informing yourself about what some experts have said in support of the current negotiations and potential agreement. My purpose is to provide you with that information.
Paul Pillar: Get Over It: There’s No Better Deal on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Robert Einhorn: Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout
David Ignatius: A Compelling Argument on Iran
William Perry, Sean O’Keefe, Adm. James Stavridis and Joe Reeder: Let’s Make the Deal With Iran
Jeffrey Simpson: An Iran Opportunity Not to Be Missed
And finally, I’ll close with something Jeffrey Goldberg wrote this week.
But let’s look at what would happen if Netanyahu “wins” this battle. [Martin] Indyk lays out a depressing scenario:
“What happens if the president succeeds in doing a deal despite the speech of the prime minister?” he asks. “Instead of the United States and Israel talking about ways to provide strategic reassurance to Israel, there’s going to be an ongoing fight over this deal. And what if the prime minister then succeeds in killing the deal? How will the president relate to the destruction of one of his signature policy initiatives? And if the sanctions then collapse, as seems likely, and Iran continues moving towards a nuclear weapon, how does the prime minister propose to stop Iran? He will certainly manage in the process to create the impression that he wants the United States to go to war with Iran.”
The common theme in all the articles above is that – while the deal that emerges is not likely to be perfect – it will be far superior to any alternative that is actually possible. The bar Netanyahu wants to set would be impossible to reach and therefore, would leave war as the only option – which is 100% unacceptable. That’s why Ignatius says that these are “the most important diplomatic negotiations of the last several decades.”