Iran Nuke Deal Gets the Job Done
By Richard Klass
(CNN)—The United States and its negotiating partners reached a very strong framework agreement with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday that limits Iran’s nuclear program in such a way as to effectively block it from building a nuclear weapon.
Expect pushback anyway, if the recent past is any harbinger.
Just last month, in an attempt to head off such an agreement, House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to preemptively blast it before Congress, and 47 senators sent a letter to the Iranian leadership warning them away from a deal.
The debate that has already begun since the announcement of the new framework will likely result in more heat than light. It will not be helped by the gathering swirl of dubious assumptions and doubtful assertions.
Let us address some of these:
The most misleading assertion, despite universal rejection by experts, is that the negotiations’ objective at the outset was the total elimination of any nuclear program in Iran. That is the position of Netanyahu and his acolytes in the U.S. Congress. But that is not and never was the objective. If it had been, there would have been no Iranian team at the negotiating table.
Rather, the objective has always been to structure an agreement or series of agreements so that Iran could not covertly develop a nuclear arsenal before the United States and its allies could respond. The new framework has exceeded expectations in achieving that goal. It would reduce Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile, cut by two-thirds its number of installed centrifuges and implement a rigorous inspection regime.