How Obama Can Strengthen The Iran Nuclear Deal
Dennis Ross and Gen. David Petraeus (Ret.) explain why they remain undecided on the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.
“The fact that President Obama emphasizes that the plan depends on verification — not trust — also means that he is not assuming Iran will change. But verification means only that we can catch the Iranians if they cheat; what matters even more is that the Iranians recognize that they will pay a meaningful price when we catch them. In other words, deterrence is the key to ensuring not just that the Iranians live up to the agreement but also to preventing them from developing nuclear weapons.”
“Now is the time for the Iranians and the world to know that if Iran dashes toward a weapon, especially after year 15, that it will trigger the use of force… It is critically important for the president to state this clearly, particularly given his perceived hesitancy to use force. Indeed, were Obama to be unequivocal about the use of force should Iran violate its commitment not to seek nuclear weapons, the international community would accept the legitimacy of military strikes in response.”
“Bolstering deterrence is essential in addressing key vulnerabilities we see in the deal. A blunter statement on the consequences of Iran moving toward a weapon and of producing highly enriched uranium would allay some of our concerns.”