Nuclear deal will improve intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities making future military option more feasible
The nuclear deal, by facilitating more transparency and on-site inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities will also improve U.S. intelligence on known facilities, improving the military's ability to target these at a later point.
Analysts said the military benefits of having a clearer view of Iran’s program is an undeniable feature of the agreement.
“If you want to bomb the program, you should be superexcited about this deal,” said Austin Long, a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs who studies U.S. military options against Iran. “The more you know about Iran’s nuclear program and the industrial infrastructure behind that program, the better you will be able to target it.”
Although the U.S. is already well aware of Iran’s major nuclear sites, such as its uranium enrichment plants at Fordow and Natanz, Pentagon planners lack detailed knowledge about the country’s “supply chain” — facilities that build essential components like centrifuges as well as its uranium mines and mills.
“These are exactly the kind of things you would want to destroy, so you don’t just cripple their ability to enrich uranium” but also Iran’s ability to reconstitute their enrichment program, Long said.
The authors argue that the inspections provided by the nuclear deal will provide valuable intelligence on military targets if a military option to constrain Iran's nuclear program is ever required.
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Administration officials are making the argument to skeptical legislators that inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities under the deal will reveal important details that can be used for better targeting should the U.S. decide to attack Iran.
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The author argues that acceptance of the nuclear deal with Iran would increase "the benefits and reduces the costs of military action should Iran attempt breakout" through improving intelligence collection and target development of Iran's nuclear program.
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