“The key benefit of the JCPOA is simply that it would allow the international community to determine if Iran were pursuing a nuclear bomb with enough time to be able to come up with a diplomatic solution, thus saving the lives that would come with a potential military confrontation,” said Samuel Hickey, research analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
“You can’t take away knowledge,” said Hickey. “You can take away technology, you can put it under lock and seal and international nuclear inspectors and oversight, but the knowledge that they have gained throughout this process, we can’t take back.”
“It’s clear at this moment that no one is willing to escalate something to the point of possibly causing a war,” said Hickey. “The scenarios for how all of that would break down are really quite worrisome, but no war would be contained to the perimeters of Iran. It would have terrible consequences for many of the countries [in the region] including Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. It would spread out throughout the entirety of the region. It’s not clear that anybody really wants to light that tinderbox.”
“This is driving the program underground, and that’s really not the optimal solution,” said Hickey. “The optimal solution is to keep it in the open as much as possible … to keep an eye on exactly what is happening so we don’t lose sight of anything,” he added. “As long as we have a comprehensive picture of what is happening in Iran’s nuclear program, we can be confident that they’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon. As things are driven deeper and deeper underground, that makes it very difficult for us to be confident in what is happening. That’s a recipe for disaster.” Read more