Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action / Plan is beneficial

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Position: Plan is beneficial

This position addresses the topic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.


For this position


Quotes-start.png Without question, we all want Iran to recognize Israel's right to exist. It's longstanding U.S. policy that the world's nations recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state. But the White House says Iran is two to three months away from acquiring enough material for a nuclear device. So right now, Job One is to keep Iran from completing that process and creating a weapon that could annihilate our ally from the face of the earth. Quotes-end.png
From Rubio on wrong side of Iran deal, by Sun-Suntinel editorial board (Sun-Sentinel, May 7, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Absent an accord, Iran will in time resume where it left off 20 months ago. The United States, under Obama or his successor, is not about to go to war with Iran; forget about it. We’ll get the next facile metaphor along the lines of Netanyahu’s warning that an Iranian nuclear threat is coming “to a theater near you,” and another crescendo of rhetoric designed to disguise helpless navel-gazing and, perhaps, a touch of remorse for the opportunity squandered to ring-fence and cut back Iran’s nuclear program under relentless inspection. Quotes-end.png
From Iran's Unserious Critics, by Roger Cohen (The New York Times, July 9, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Some say they are trying to shut down this or that pathway to the bomb. The agreement within our reach will do just that through a plethora of measures. But the truth is that there really is only one pathway to the bomb, and that is through a political decision to build a nuclear weapon. Sober strategic calculations, and more importantly our religious obligations, have firmly distanced Iran from this calamity, and these calculations have been put to the test. Even under attack by weapons of mass destruction, by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, Iran did not respond in kind. Such weapons have always been strictly prohibited by the Supreme Leaders of the Islamic Revolution. Quotes-end.png
From A nuclear deal, then a choice to co-operate on extremism, by Javad Zarif (Financial Times, July 8, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The U.S. didn’t get all it wanted (and neither did Iran) in an imperfect compromise. True, we didn’t achieve anywhere, anytime inspections, yet the required inspections program is still among the most intrusive ever. Remember too that this deal isn’t just about centrifuges but also about the possibility that Iran will come out of the cold and emerge from its failed 36-year experiment with extremism. That’s why Iran’s hard-liners are so opposed to the deal; they have been sustained by the narrative of the Great Satan as the endless enemy, and conciliation endangers them. Quotes-end.png
From Why the Naysayers Are Wrong About the Iran Deal, by Nicholas D. Kristof (The New York Times, July 30, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Israel may, at some point, still have to go the military route, but it is abundantly clear that no one in Jerusalem has been avid to do so. Had Mr. Netanyahu wanted to launch an attack, he had many chances. But for very good reasons, not the least of which was American opposition, he did not. An attack probably could not have achieved more than a few years’ postponement of Iran’s program, whereas the agreement will do so for at least 10 to 15 years. After the deal expires, it’s conceivable that Iran will prefer to avoid becoming an international pariah again. Quotes-end.png
From A Good Deal for Israel, by Chuck Freilich (The New York Times, July 19, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Iran is finely poised between a tough old guard forged in revolution and its aspirational, Westward-looking youth. A decade is a long time in societies in transition. It is far better to have deep American-Iranian differences — over Hezbollah, over Syria, over regional Shiite irredentism, over Iran’s vile anti-Israel outbursts — addressed through dialogue rather than have Iran do its worst as pariah. Quotes-end.png
From The Door to Iran Opens, by Roger Cohen (The New York Times, July 16, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Here's the main problem, one many American politicians hate to acknowledge: The sanctions that prodded Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, into a deal were imposed by a huge international coalition — one that included Russia, China and India as well as traditional U.S. allies. If the U.S. walks away from an agreement its allies have enthusiastically embraced, that coalition will almost certainly collapse. Quotes-end.png
From Don't like the Iran deal? What's the alternative?, by Doyle McManus (Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Israeli experts raise valid concerns about Iran's motives and trustworthiness -- and about the consequences of an economically reinvigorated Iran in terms of its support for terrorists. Those are important issues. But trust is not an element in this agreement -- the elaborate on-site international safeguards and inspections in the agreement are not quite anytime, anywhere, but close. And Iran's ability to project terror would be far more complicated if it is nuclear-armed than if it has chosen a different path and given up nuclear weapons. Quotes-end.png
From For Iran nuclear deal, implementation will be key, by The Plain Dealer editorial board (The Plain Dealer, July 15, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The Iranian nuclear program will also come under the close scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Critics have claimed that Iran should be subjected to "anytime, anywhere" inspections, but it is completely unrealistic to expect any sovereign country undefeated in war to accept such measures. Iran may object to IAEA requests for inspections, but a majority of the P5+1 can overrule its objections. This is a formula that gives a clear advantage to the United States. Quotes-end.png
From Iran deal not a panacea, but a pragmatic necessity, by Alireza Nader (USA Today, July 15, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The only realistic alternative would be to launch air strikes at Iran's nuclear sites, a potential disaster. Iran has more than 70 such sites, many of them in urban areas, and some of them buried underground. So an attack would not be surgical or quick. Military officials say it would take weeks of repeated poundings, with unavoidable civilian deaths. A bipartisan group of senior American military and diplomatic officials studied the consequences and warned that it would set back Iran's nuclear program by only a few years, while hardening its resolve to build weapons. Quotes-end.png
From The Iran deal cuts the risk of another Mideast war, by The Star-Ledger editorial board (The Star-Ledger, July 15, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The deal offers Iran a chance to come in from the cold in a new realignment with the west. That would be good for both the Iranian people and the west, offering a chance for greater engagement, whether through trade, investment and tourism or the negotiation of regional problems. President Rouhani will be strengthened in his battles with Iranian hardliners presiding over what remains a repressive regime. Now he should push for domestic reforms, ending the house arrests of opposition leaders and the charade of the trial of the Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. Quotes-end.png
From A triumph of diplomacy, by The Guardian editorial board (The Guardian, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The deal is comprehensive, tough and unforgiving. Iran would have to cut its capacity to enrich uranium by two-thirds for 10 years, and the path to all other means of creating nuclear weapons would be blocked. Other restrictions would last 15 years or longer. Iran would have to submit to intrusive inspections, and, if found cheating, sanctions would snap back in place quickly and relatively easily. Plus, the curbs already in place on Iran’s nuclear capability would give the world extra time to marshal a crushing response. Quotes-end.png
From An historic deal to curb Iranian nuclear ambitions, by Chicago Sun-Times editorial board (Chicago Sun-Times, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Together, these cuts mean that even if Iran tried to renege on the agreement, it would take it at least a year to make enough uranium for one bomb — more than enough time to detect the effort and take economic, diplomatic or military steps to stop it. Uranium path, blocked. Quotes-end.png
From Deal keeps Iran from making nuclear weapons, by Joe Cirincione (Tampa Bay Times, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png How, for example, can it be guaranteed that, buried deep within a mountainside, Iran won't quietly build a nuclear capability that could allow it to hurtle toward a weapon? The agreement entrusts this responsibility to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations body that has, more or less effectively, monitored compliance with nuclear non-proliferation. Now, IAEA scientists and investigators will have unprecedented access, with onsite inspection and around-the-clock online monitoring of known nuclear sites. Without this pact, they will have none. Quotes-end.png
From Is Iran nuclear deal better than no deal? Yes, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png In April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel went to Washington and warned that Iran would keep its “vast nuclear infrastructure” if the deal went ahead. Mr. Netanyahu’s objections may have helped stiffen the P5+1’s resolve. Two-thirds of Iran’s centrifuges are to be removed, and its stockpile of low-enriched uranium is to be reduced by more than 95 per cent. Quotes-end.png
From The Iran nuclear deal was necessary – but it comes at a high price, by The Globe and Mail editorial board (The Globe and Mail, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The history of nuclear proliferation among nations that did not come to the bargaining table is not impressive. Would the world be a safer place if nations had recognized first India's and then Pakistan's determination to be nuclear powers? Or if they had understood better the nuclear obsession of North Korea's regime? Perhaps diplomacy would have changed nothing. But failing to negotiate ensured the ultimate result. Quotes-end.png
From Iran deal a gamble, but no deal would be worse, by The Arizona Republic editorial board (The Arizona Republic, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Perhaps the most important part of the framework involves inspection and verification plans. Here, too, the United States seems to have obtained most of what it wanted. The IAEA could permanently monitor all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, using an intrusive measure known as the “additional protocol.” Inspection of Iran’s mines, mills and other elements of its nuclear supply chain would continue for 25 years. It’s a tougher package, in terms of preventing Iranian breakout, than many critics feared. Quotes-end.png
From A better-than-expected nuclear deal with Iran, by David Ignatius (The Washington Post, April 2, 2015) (view)

Against this position


Quotes-start.png But as things now stand, Obama may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself. The Iranians have signed nothing and have no plans for doing so. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has not even been discussed at the Islamic Republic’s Council of Ministers. Nor has the Tehran government bothered to even provide an official Persian translation of the 159-page text. Quotes-end.png
From Obama will be the only person sticking to Iran deal, by Amir Taheri (New York Post, October 11, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Bottom line: The nuclear deal Obama hopes to get would leave Iran with 1) an immediate influx of $100 billion or more in cash to fund its terrorist teammates; 2) its much-desired nukes, as long as it waits a few years; and 3) lots of room to cheat with impunity and get those nukes even sooner. Iran is a rogue regime, a state sponsor of terror. Anyone — hello, Mr. President — who believes it has any benign intentions is living in a fantasy world. Quotes-end.png
From Is there anything Obama’s not giving away in his Iran nuclear deal?, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, June 13, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran’s lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, “the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate.” Apart from the absurdity of morally equating America with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait 19 months to do so — after repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to any inspection regime? Quotes-end.png
From The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, July 2, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Media and cultural institutions will reward Obama and Kerry and Rouhani and Zarif for upholding the shibboleths that rule the world: give peace a chance, jaw jaw is better than war war, we’re all in this together, put yourself in the mullah’s shoes, Kennedy and Reagan negotiated with a superpower so why can’t we parody their example by kowtowing to a two-bit fundamentalist regime on the verge of bankruptcy whose shrinking population is addled by drugs and venereal disease. Meanwhile Iranian centrifuges will spin, Iran’s proxies are sowing chaos, its missile program is active, its adversarial posture toward Israel and America and the West is unbroken, and, as Jim Webb put it, “After a period of ten years they are going to be able to say that they can move forward with a nuclear weapons policy with our acceptance.” Quotes-end.png
From When It Comes to Iran, the Obama Administration’s Willful Blindness Is Astounding, by Matthew Continetti (National Review, July 18, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Obama claimed in his Wednesday news conference that it really doesn’t matter because we can always intercept Iranian arms shipments to, say, Hezbollah. But wait. Obama has insisted throughout that we are pursuing this Iranian diplomacy to avoid the use of force, yet now he blithely discards a previous diplomatic achievement — the arms embargo — by suggesting, no matter, we can just shoot our way to interdiction. Quotes-end.png
From Obama’s Nuclear Deal with Iran: Worse than We Could Have Imagined, by Charles Krauthammer (National Review, July 16, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Yes there are repeated references to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency — who have, of course, in the past been stonewalled at efforts to inspect facilities in Iran — being “requested to monitor and verify the voluntary nuclear-related measures as detailed” in the agreement. “Voluntary” — really? But should inspectors have actual concerns about a possible breach of the deal they would be required to engage in a kind of “Mother, may I” pleading to the Iranians, such as this as outlined in Section 76: “IAEA will provide Iran the reasons for access in writing and will make available relevant information” [about a possible breach]. Quotes-end.png
From A shameful deal on Iran nukes, by Boston Herald editorial board (Boston Herald, July 15, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Anytime, anywhere" inspections of Iranian military facilities were dropped, and I am skeptical that Iran will be required to fully disclose all its past nuclear work. Worst of all, Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism, will receive more than $100 billion in sanctions relief in short order. We know from Iran's track record that this won't be used for roads and bridges, but to fund Hamas and Hezbollah and further entrench Bashar Assad in Syria. Quotes-end.png
From Iran deal fails on all fronts, by Lindsey Graham (USA Today, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png This bystander status looks like the United States’ future in much of the Middle East. The economic payout of the nuclear deal will fund Iranian military activities across the region. And haggling over implementation will continue indefinitely. Just as Obama has been loath to throw away the possibility of a deal by getting tough with Iran, he will be loath to throw away the reality of a deal by getting tough with Iran. And the economic pressure that has influenced Iranian behavior in the past will be gone, with no realistic hope for a “snapback” of sanctions. Quotes-end.png
From Obama’s Iran deal is a reckless bet, by Michael Gerson (The Washington Post, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Rather than force Iran to face the hard choice of guns or butter, this deal will enable it to have more dangerous guns, more lethal rockets, more sophisticated drones and more destructive cybercapabilities. Removing the arms embargo on Iran magnifies this problem by orders of magnitude. Quotes-end.png
From The four major problems with the Iran deal, by Ron Dermer (The Washington Post, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The White House also seems convinced that reaching a nuclear deal will pave the way for a new relationship in which the United States would partner with Iran in combatting the Islamic State and other extremist groups. That’s wishful thinking. Though driven by different ideologies, Iran and the Islamic State share the similar goal of pushing western influence out of the Middle East. That includes the destruction of Israel. Quotes-end.png
From Obama rushing toward risky nuclear deal with Iran, by The Detroit News editorial board (The Detroit News, February 27, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png News leaked Monday of the elements of a “sunset clause.” President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want. Sanctions lifted. Restrictions gone. Nuclear development legitimized. Quotes-end.png
From The fatal flaw in the Iran deal, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, February 26, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png The usual suspects in the arms-control industry are making the usual noises. Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association tells The Associated Press that tough monitoring would supply “enough time to detect and disrupt” any attempt by Iran to continue to work on a bomb. But if there’s no will to stand up to Iran now, why would anyone expect such will to appear, as if by magic, when the Iranians flout an agreement? Quotes-end.png
From Obama’s signature gift for Iran, by The Washington Times editorial board (The Washington Times, February 24, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png As for the “snapback” sanctions — our last remaining bit of pressure — they are equally fantastic. There’s no way sanctions will be re-imposed once they have been lifted. It took a decade to weave China, Russia and the Europeans into the current sanctions infrastructure. Once gone, it doesn’t snap back. None will pull their companies out of a thriving, post-sanctions Iran. As Kissinger and Shultz point out, we will be fought every step of the way, leaving the United States, not Iran, isolated. Quotes-end.png
From The Iran deal: Anatomy of a disaster, by Charles Krauthammer (The Washington Post, April 9, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png With the recent addition of Yemen as a battlefield, Tehran occupies positions along all of the Middle East’s strategic waterways and encircles archrival Saudi Arabia, an American ally. Unless political restraint is linked to nuclear restraint, an agreement freeing Iran from sanctions risks empowering Iran’s hegemonic efforts. Some have argued that these concerns are secondary, since the nuclear deal is a way station toward the eventual domestic transformation of Iran. But what gives us the confidence that we will prove more astute at predicting Iran’s domestic course than Vietnam’s, Afghanistan’s, Iraq’s, Syria’s, Egypt’s or Libya’s? Quotes-end.png
From The Iran Deal and Its Consequences, by Henry Kissinger, George Shultz (The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Some of the particulars are so indefensible that they may become the best vehicle for stopping or killing the deal. In fact, Congress might advance several pieces of legislation or amendments along these lines, in addition to the cumbersome Corker-Menendez bill. For example: no sanctions relief if Fordow, which Obama himself said was utterly unnecessary for a peaceful nuclear program, stays open. No sanctions relief if there aren't any-time, any-place inspections. No sanctions relief if the centrifuges don't stop spinning, or if enriched uranium isn't shipped out of the country. Quotes-end.png
From Kill the Deal, by William Kristol (The Weekly Standard, April 4, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Three days before President Truman announced in September 1949 that the Soviet Union had the bomb, the CIA confidently stated that Moscow was at least four years away from producing one. In May 1998 the U.S. was shocked when India — then, in response, later in the month, Pakistan — exploded underground nuclear bombs. No wonder Israel isn't buying any of Obama's hype, reaffirming that military action remains on the table and arguing that the preliminary agreement will leave Iran able to have nuclear weapons in only months. Quotes-end.png
From Without A Deal, Obama Announces Nuclear Pact With Iran, by Investor's Business Daily editorial board (Investor's Business Daily, April 2, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png They were telling the truth when a commander of Iranian forces insisted “America has no other choice but to leave the Middle East region beaten and humiliated.” And when Iran’s supreme leader raged that “there is only one solution to the Middle East problem, namely the annihilation and destruction of the Jewish state.” And when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserted that “a world without America is not only desirable, it is achievable.” And when, over and over, they have incited crowds in chants of “Death to America.” Quotes-end.png
From Danger of Iran deal is not because Tehran lies, but because it doesn’t, by Jeff Jacoby (The Boston Globe, April 16, 2015) (view)

Mixed on this position


Quotes-start.png If Iran is allowed to backtrack on its commitments now, it doesn’t bode well for compliance in the future. A vague, unverifiable deal won’t pass muster with the US Congress. If the nuclear deal needs a presidential veto to survive, then it may be too fragile to outlast this administration. That’s not in Iran’s interests, or the interests of the United States. Quotes-end.png
From Hold Iran nuclear negotiators to their word, by The Boston Globe editorial board (The Boston Globe, June 26, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png Obama recognizes, like George W. Bush did before him, that Tehran has the right to build nuclear power plants to produce electricity. There also were deep concerns about whether the sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table -- specifically, the commitments from Russia and China -- would have stayed in place without a deal. All negotiations are gambles, but continuing the present course is a losing bet. It's time to move forward. Quotes-end.png
From Give Iran deal hard look, serious debate, by Newsday editorial board (Newsday, July 14, 2015) (view)
Quotes-start.png As several senators pointed out last month during a hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee, the prospective deal would leave Iran as a nuclear-threshold state while theoretically giving the world time to respond if Tehran chose to build a weapon. Even these limited restrictions would remain in force for only a specified number of years, after which Iran would be free to expand its production of potential bomb materials. Mr. Kissinger said such an arrangement would very likely prompt other countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, to match Iran’s threshold capability. Quotes-end.png
From The emerging Iran nuclear deal raises major concerns, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, February 5, 2015) (view)