THE U.S. SHOULDN’T BE CELEBRATING, EITHER: Michael Oren: Why Israel Won’t be Celebrating the Iran Deal.
Back in 1994, American negotiators promised a “good deal” with North Korea. Its nuclear plants were supposed to be frozen and dismantled. International inspectors would “carefully monitor” North Korea’s compliance with the agreement and ensure the country’s return to the “community of nations.” The world, we were told, would be a safer place. . . .
Iran is not North Korea. It’s far worse. Pyonyang’s dictators never plotted terrorist attacks across five continents and in thirty cities, including Washington, D.C. Tehran’s Ayatollahs did. North Korea is not actively undermining pro-Western governments in its region or planting agents in South America. Iran is.
So why, then, are only Israelis united in opposing this deal? The answer is that we have the most to lose, at least in the short run. We know that the deal allows Iran to break out and create nuclear bombs in as little as three months, too quickly for the world to react. We know that the Ayatollahs, who have secretly constructed fortified nuclear facilities that have no peaceful purpose and have violated all of their international commitments, will break this deal in steps too small to precipitate a powerful global response. And we know that the sanctions, once lifted, cannot be swiftly revived, and that hundreds of billions of dollars Iran will soon receive will not be spent on better roads and schools. That treasure will fund the shedding of blood – of Israelis but also of many others.
Israelis know that, while the world might weather its deception by North Korea, they cannot afford to be duped by Iran. But neither, in fact, can the United States. Just last week, Iran’s President attended a rally in Tehran where tens of thousands of protesters chanted “Death to America.” The deal will better enable them to carry out that attack – if not today, then against future generations. And Iran’s Supreme Leader has publicly pledged to do just that.
I literally feel nauseous about this Iran deal. I feel nauseous because my daughter’s future is being seriously jeopardized by a deal that lifts sanctions that have been well designed to stop a state sponsor of terrorism from obtaining nuclear weapons, in return for virtually nothing. Somehow, President Obama has convinced his fellow Democrats that infusing Iran with billions of dollars will make the world a safer place. But all it will do is exacerbate Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, and perversely enable western civilization to fund terrorism activities aimed at it.
We have given concessions to a country that has repeatedly lied, hidden, deceived, and boldly declared its intention to wipe out both Israel and the United States. Any member of Congress who votes for this deal must have a death wish. But of course Congress, in typical fashion, gave away its constitutional power to ratify this as a treaty (with 2/3 of Senate support) when it passed the Corker legislation. Assuming the Republican-controlled Congress votes down the Iran deal and the President vetoes it, I cannot imagine that there are enough Democrats (13 Democrats in the Senate and 43 in the House) to join the Republicans in overriding Obama’s inevitable veto.
There’s enough political cover and ambiguity in the agreement that the real risks to U.S. and Israel will become known only incrementally, after the passage of years, and most likely only after President Obama leaves office. By the time the western world realizes what a mistake the Obama Administration has made, it will be too late. I guess that, once again, we have to pass it to really find out what’s in it.