The Iran Nuclear Deal: Myths and Misconceptions Busted
The author praises the recent nuclear deal with Iran, arguing that many of the objections from critics do not stand up to close scrutiny.
By focusing on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s vehement criticisms of the deal, American politicians have grossly exaggerated Israel’s disapproval for the Iran nuclear deal. The Israeli government is made up of others who realize that although not preferable, the Iran nuclear deal is not enough for the country to sever its relationship with the United States. Various former Israeli security heads voiced their support for the nuclear deal, despite their less than positive views of Iran. The viewpoint supported by many in Israel was articulated perfectly by Major-General Israel Ziv, former head of the Israeli army’s Operations Directorate Branch. He stated that, “this agreement is the best among all other alternatives, and any military strike—as successful as it may be—would not have delayed even 20 percent of what the agreement will delay, not to mention the risk of another flare-up with Hezbollah, which an operation against Iran would have generated. The agreement is an established fact, and it’s not particularly bad as far as Israel is concerned.”
Even amongst Israeli disapproval, the American-Israeli relationship is astonishingly strong, presenting little chance of it crumbling under the pressure of strained relations because of the deal. Both countries are so interdependent in security and foreign policy matters that there is no way the United States could lose its strategic alliance with Israel.
The misconception that the most recent Iran nuclear deal is an insufficient alternative to the multilateral sanctions to which Iran has been subjected is another common misperception promoted by news organizations and politicians. In order to understand just how effective the nuclear deal will be compared to previous sanctions, it is essential to know the goals of the sanctions and how well those were met. One of the scenarios that the United States and its allied countries had in mind when instituting sanctions against Iran was essentially to bleed the country dry and prevent any further nuclear proliferation by cutting off funds. If sanctions were in place long enough, there would be no choice but for Iranian leaders, seeing the destitute state of their people, to halt their nuclear progress. But even if this scenario did not play out, proponents still thought the sanctions could work. They believed that if the Iranian government did not give in to U.S. demands, the general public would. Driven to horrible poverty by the sanctions, Iranian citizens would revolt against their unyielding government and nuclear proliferation would be halted.
Neither of these situations panned out; Iranian leaders continued with nuclear proliferation, despite the country’s increasing poverty, and the Iranian people saw the United States as the one to blame—not their government. However, sanctions did have success in their primary goal, one separate from these two scenarios: bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But it’s crucial to recognize that if continued, sanctions would augment Iranian nuclear proliferation more than the new nuclear deal ever could by making leaders double down in their efforts to gain a bargaining chip against the United States.