May 11, 2016
- Dangerous Illusions about Iran – Elliott Abrams
The Iran nuclear agreement was sold with the argument that it would strengthen Iranian “moderates,” and that it would allow us unparalleled insight into Iran’s nuclear program. Both are now proving to be untrue. If Iran remains the bellicose and repressive theocracy of today when the agreement ends and Iran is free to build nukes without limits, we have entered a dangerous bargain.
Iran’s conduct certainly suggests radicalization rather than moderation, and the past weeks have seen repeated ballistic missile tests. Ballistic missiles are not built and perfected in order to carry 500-pound “dumb” bombs; they are used to carry nuclear weapons. So Iran’s continued work on them suggests that it has never given up its nuclear ambitions, not even briefly for the sake of appearances.
The head of CENTCOM, Gen. Lloyd Austin, put it this way: “The fact remains that Iran today is a significant destabilizing force in the region…. Some of the behavior that we’ve seen from Iran of late is certainly not the behavior that you would expect to see from a nation that wants to be taken seriously as a respected member of the international community.”
Are we now gaining unparalleled insight into the Iranian nuclear program? Earlier this week State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “We now know more than we’ve ever known, thanks to this deal, about Iran’s program.” Reporter Matt Lee of AP asked, “How much near-20%-enriched uranium does Iran now have?” Kirby replied, “I don’t know.” The writer, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a U.S. deputy national security advisor. (Council on Foreign Relations)