What Does a Good Nuclear Deal Look Like: A Reader Responds
October 7, 2014
By David Frum
Laicie Heeley, director of Middle East and Defense Policy at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, offers a considered response to my recent assertion that the Obama administration has “retreated from the longstanding demand that Iran dismantle its nuclear centrifuges” and that under its new proposal in ongoing nuclear negotiations, “Iran could resume its progress toward a weapon at almost any time.”
Mr. Frum fails to acknowledge that this would be true under any conceivable agreement. Because Iran has already obtained the knowledge necessary to build its current program, even if all of its centrifuges were dismantled or destroyed, they could be rebuilt. The more important question is, will the U.S. be able to detect an Iranian move toward reconstituting its program and react in time? The answer to this will be determined by a variety of factors, including tough, verifiable monitoring and inspections. Without a deal, we will lose the ability to monitor and constrain Iran’s nuclear program. Nothing is more dangerous than that.
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