A U.S. Return to the Iran Deal Would Be a Dangerous Choice

(The Hill) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin - The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), achieved in 2015 between Iran and the world powers, had some immediate benefits, mainly in the rollback of the Iranian nuclear program and the 10-year slowdown, but also dangerous drawbacks. It enables Iran to continue developing its enrichment technology, and in the longer term, the "sunset" clause grants full legitimacy to Iran's unlimited nuclear program and places a nuclear weapon within Iran's immediate access from the moment Tehran decides to breakout to the bomb. Other significant shortcomings of the agreement include the limited supervision of undeclared sites and military sites, disregard for Iran's activity on the possible military dimensions of the program, lack of reference to the development of ballistic missiles, and Iran's malign activity in the region. The four years that have elapsed since the JCPOA was implemented have shown that key assumptions made by supporters of the agreement were wrong. Iran has not only failed to moderate its hostile conduct but has even intensified it. The call to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement in its current form is a dangerous suggestion. In 2021, we will be approaching the possibility that a murderous regime that seeks to destroy Israel and establish regional hegemony in the Middle East will receive international approval to reach the nuclear threshold - a nightmare scenario that must be prevented. As someone who, in 1981 and in 2007, helped terminate two nuclear programs in the Middle East without precipitating war, I know that the "deal or war" framing is a false dichotomy and, therefore, the prediction that leaving the JCPOA will lead to war was detached from the strategic and military reality of the Middle East. Iran does not rule the roost; it is a very vulnerable country that is rushing toward a direct clash with Israel and the United States. Paradoxically, a clear unwillingness to use force actually encourages Iranian aggression, while clear-eyed willingness to use it will cause the danger of war to recede. The writer was chief of Israeli military intelligence from 2006 to 2010 and is now the director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

2019-04-10 00:00:00

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