May 10, 2017
The World Didn’t Agree to a Nuclear-Armed Iran, Even in 10 Years – Max Singer (Wall Street Journal)
Critics of the Iran nuclear agreement say the deal gives Iran permission to acquire nuclear weapons after 10 years. Yet the stated premise of the plan was that Iran would never build or acquire nuclear weapons – ever.
An item in the deal states that the plan “will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.” Another reads: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.”
Nothing in the agreement precludes the countries that signed the deal from acting to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Since Tehran had insisted that it did not have a nuclear-weapons program, the regime cannot claim that its pursuit of nuclear weapons was authorized by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The problem of stopping Iran is therefore not a legal one. The question is whether the U.S. and other powers have the tools to compel Iran to abort its nuclear-weapons program, and whether they have the will to use them.
The decisive question is how strongly the U.S. and the other democracies are determined to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. If they have the will to do so, they have the necessary power, and the nuclear deal is not an impediment.
The writer, a founder and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, is a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.