Don’t Trust Benjamin Netanyahu on Claims About Iran’s Nuclear Program

This article appeared on the USA Today on May 3, 2018.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cynical presentation revealed nothing new about Iran’s nuclear activities and, contrary to his intention, further demonstrated the necessity of the nuclear deal.

Virtually all of the material he reviewed has been known for years. In 2007, the U.S. intelligence community concluded “with high confidence” that Iran halted all active weaponization activities by 2003.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reviewed the past military dimensions of Iran’s program and issued a statement this week reiterating that there are “no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

By reviewing this old news about Iran’s pre-Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action activities, Netanyahu was fear-mongering in an attempt to undermine the deal.

Meanwhile, President Trump is expected to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal later this month, despite the fact that the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance. Trump’s own military and intelligence officials concur that Iran is complying, and that America should stay in this deal.

Trump’s hostility toward the deal isn’t based on its specifics, nor is it based on a rational assessment of the Iranian threat. Instead, Trump hates the nuclear deal because his predecessor brought it to fruition and he has long been determined to undo Barack Obama’s legacy.

If Trump does scuttle the Iran deal, it will be a rogue action with grave implications for global peace and stability. Iran will likely consider itself unburdened by the various restrictions on its enrichment capabilities, which will then lend credence to arguments, such as those of Trump’s top advisers John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, that war is the only option.

The same voices that pushed for the disastrous war in Iraq are now pushing for scrapping this successful non-proliferation agreement with Iran. War with Iran would be an order of magnitude worse than what we saw in Iraq. Unfortunately, it seems America has not learned the lessons of history.