Adding ballistic missile restrictions to existing nuclear deal would be a good way to test Iran's true intentions
In the coming days, we will learn if the Obama administration and its negotiating partners are able to close a nuclear deal with Iran on a framework for a comprehensive settlement and on which terms. If so, then the fundamental question to assess is whether this development reflects a strategic decision by the Islamic Republic to forswear nuclear weapons now and for the foreseeable future, or if instead it is nothing more than a tactical accommodation on the road to becoming a nuclear weapons power. If the Iranians are sincere in renouncing any past nuclear weapons ambitions, then they should have no reason to retain their formidable existing arsenal of missiles, and certainly even less so to pursue even longer range and more capable systems in the future. Thus, if it turns out that the Iranians have indeed not been required to restrict their missiles as part of a comprehensive deal, even while this arrangement purports to satisfy concerns about Iranian nuclear weapons development, then it begs the obvious question of why they would still have any need for such missiles? What a pity if they are not even asked to explain this paradox.