My New Piece, “Correcting the Critics of the Iran Nuclear Deal” And Additional Notes

Now that the Iran nuclear agreement is done, the Republicans, AIPAC, the neocons and the Israeli government have gone on the warpath (in more ways than one) to try and get Congress to kill the deal. 4688994752_853e3d2f46_b

I have written a piece for FMEP that takes on some of the most common criticisms of the deal and demonstrates that they are almost entirely smoke. In some cases, they’re based on outright falsehoods, in others on distortions of the facts. Please check out the piece and, if you are so inclined, share it with your contacts, friends and lists. There is also a link there to a PDF version that you can print out and distribute if that would be helpful.

A few other points should be stressed in addition to the ones I listed in my piece. 

  • AIPAC and other Jewish organizations once again demonstrate that they represent only a vocal minority of the American Jewish community. The LA Jewish Journal published a poll today that not only shows that American Jews back the deal by a wide margin, but are way ahead of the general public in their approval.
  • Congress is being incredibly reckless here. Most statements opposing the deal were clearly made before even reading it. If Congress manages to kill the deal, which seems very unlikely at this point, the ramifications are enormous. First of all, Iran would be completely free of any significant monitoring (they would still be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but not any of the additional measures they have agreed to). If the concern is that Iran will race to a bomb in fifteen years, as so many Republicans are saying, what sense is there in having them do so now, when we don’t have the benefit of fifteen years of monitoring their nuclear infrastructure and of incentivizing them against such a move? Moreover, Congress may maintain the sanctions, but Europe, Russia and China won’t, and neither will the United Nations Security Council, which has already passed its relevant resolution.
    Beyond that, such a move by Congress would undermine not only the Obama Administration, but subsequent Presidents for years to come. Why would any nation, friend or foe, trust the President or Secretary of State to negotiate agreements when Congress can just turn around and kill it, for purely political reasons.
  • The same issue is there for Republican Presidential candidates. They are falling all over each other to declare that they will reverse the deal once elected. This is just as reckless; even if they don’t win, they are sending the world a message that American agreements are only valid until the next election.
  • The United States would find itself isolated on the world stage in a way it was not even during the George W. Bush Administration. It would also be very bad for Israel and American Jews, as those two groups would be widely blamed for this decision, one which, based on most polls, would go against the wishes of the majority of Americans.

Some of this damage is already done, but it can be mitigated by Congress’ failure to override the President on this. That’s in America’s interest, Israel’s interest and the interest of the entire world. The odds re in favor of the deal’s survival, but we should not take anything for granted. As usual, the right wing forces are the ones who are contacting their congressional representatives. It’s time to pick up that phone and call your representatives and urge them to support the deal. And the fact sheet from FMEP will give you the ammunition to do it, and convince others to follow your lead. Now is the time.

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