An Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal Misunderstanding

Pierre Atlas, in Real Clear World had one.

…the accord is meant to keep it from building [a nuclear weapon], at least for the next 10 years. The question that the deal’s opponents, such as the Republican presidential candidates or Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, must answer is this: what is the realistic, plausible alternative to JCPOA that will achieve the same goal, short of going to war?

No, first Atlas and his fellow apologists for this “deal” must first establish that the arrangement will prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Along with that, Atlas and his fellows must demonstrate how we’ll know Iran has reneged on this arrangement before they explode a test article, since both the arrangement and Iranian government officials, from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on down, say they will not allow inspections at their nuclear development facilities that are housed in military bases and the arrangement explicitly allows Iran to delay inspections at civilian nuclear facilities for weeks at a time before the first inspector can walk through the front door.

Next he and his must provide a plausible plan of action for the period beginning at the end of his 10 years—granting for the sake of his argument that Iran will not sooner build a nuclear bomb—when Iran will be free of restraints and can build to its heart’s content.

Then Atlas undermined his argument by offering one version of an alternative:

Congress could instead offer legislation to shore up JCPOA and give American diplomacy a coercive edge. It could pass a bill authorizing the use of military force by the current and future presidents should Iran renege on its commitments. It could pass a resolution offering US support to any country that might be attacked by Iran.

Of course, he elided the fact that Congress can—and should—do this while rejecting the arrangement.

And he carefully ignored the value of that support to an Israel not merely “attacked” by Iran, but obliterated by them with at most four nuclear devices.

Isn’t Atlas’ alternative “going to war,” though? Only later, maybe, when Iran’s program is farther along and facilities better hardened. A military strike now, properly constructed, would eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program without war, since it would leave Iran without the means to prosecute their war, other than the way they’re fighting their already in progress war: funding and arming their terrorist clients.

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