|Posted on August 18, 2015 at 5:35 PM|
Israel, INSS Insight
Emily B. Landau, Shimon Stein
Original publication date: 8/18/2015
Following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the world powers and Iran, Russia was quick to call on the United States to stop the NATO missile defense deployments in Europe, on the grounds that Iran will no longer pose a nuclear threat to Alliance countries. However, while the agreement could delay Iran’s ability to break out to a nuclear weapon by up to one year, the JCPOA dos not call for the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. NATO can therefore claim that there is no reason to scale back its missile defense plans. Indeed, with the lifting of the UN Security Council missile embargo in eight years as per the agreement, and with the absence of provisions addressing Iran’s ballistic missile capability, the United States will have a stronger interest in consolidating its missile defense programs in the Middle East and beyond. Furthermore, at a time of heightened alarm in Eastern Europe over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, a decision to review NATO missile defense plans at this time would risk alienating Poland and the Baltic states. (8/17)
On August 5, 2015, President Barack Obama delivered an address that included criticism of Israel’s stance on the nuclear agreement with Iran. Although his specific remarks were particularly poignant, the overall message was not new. Indeed, regular statements by the President, Secretary of State Kerry, and other leading members of the administration since the agreement was signed in Vienna are intended to persuade Congress and US public opinion of the value of the nuclear agreement and why it merits United States approval. The intense debate underway in the United States about the agreement is a tribute to American democracy – similar debates are not taking place in any of the other countries that are parties to the agreement. Thus far the opponents of the agreement have not managed to refute the administration’s main arguments. Moreover, many who oppose the agreement are becoming convinced that its defeat in Congress might only aggravate the threat of the Iranian nuclear program. This article reviews the administration’s leading contentions in favor of the agreement.
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