Trump wrong about Iran nuclear deal
Your article “Szeliga, Van Hollen speak to B’Nai Israel forum” (Sept. 25) reports that a majority of Americans oppose the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.
As a lifelong supporter of Israel, I strongly support the agreement. Those who are familiar with the details of the negotiations leading up to it generally view it favorably and conclude it was far preferable for the U.S. to sign rather than reject it, an outcome that would have been calamitous for both Israel and the U.S.
Those who oppose the agreement, including Donald Trump, who expressed his opposition during his rather incoherent remarks Monday during the first presidential debate, need to look more closely at the facts.
What drove Iran to the bargaining table was not the U.S. sanctions, which had failed to make Iran end its nuclear program, but rather the decision of our allies in the talks — the European Union, Russia, China and India — to stop importing Iranian oil.
This put the our allies in the driver’s seat and resulted in an agreement short of what we might have liked but representing the maximum these nations were willing to settle for.
The negotiations therefore focused exclusively on disarming the Iran nuclear program and did not include Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism or its missile program.
When Iran signed the agreement, Europe and our other allies resumed their imports of Iranian oil, thereby removing the critical sanctions that drove the negotiations.
For us to refuse to sign the agreement at that point would have been disastrous because it would have permitted Iran to resume its nuclear program at a time when we were powerless to negotiate a better deal due to the loss of our previous leverage. And we would have been viewed by the world as the villains who sabotaged the agreement.
The only reasonable course of action was to sign the deal and then scrupulously monitor Iran to assure its compliance, which is precisely what the Obama administration is doing.