Monday, September 07, 2015

IRAN - Opinion, Nuclear Deal

"Nuclear deal will dangerously empower Iran in the long term, says former U.S. arms control official" PBS NewsHour 8/31/2015


SUMMARY:  Former U.S. arms control official Stephen Rademaker says the Iran nuclear agreement is a Faustian bargain that will end up empowering rather than weakening Iran in the end.  He joins Gwen Ifill to discuss his objections and how he would amend the deal.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Over the weekend, Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley became the 31st senator to announce his support for the Iran nuclear agreement.  His backing puts President Obama three votes away from winning a veto-proof majority in the Senate.  That would derail any resolutions disapproving the agreement.

Tonight, we continue our series of conversations on the Iran nuclear deal.  Last time, we heard from a former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency who supports the agreement.

Tonight, we hear from an opponent.  Stephen Rademaker was an assistant secretary of state for the Bureaus of Arms Control and International Security and Nonproliferation under President George W. Bush.  He’s now a principal at the Podesta Group in Washington and an adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Thank you for joining us.

In a nutshell, what is your opposition to this deal as it is written now?

STEPHEN RADEMAKER, Former U.S. Arms Control Official:  I believe there are number of major flaws with the agreement.

But the single most important one is that it basically locks in that Iran will be a threshold nuclear weapons state.  That means that Iran is going to be able, in very short order, to produce nuclear weapons.

GWEN IFILL:  Explain to people the difference between threshold, just a little definitional question, and actually having the weapons?

STEPHEN RADEMAKER:  Well, being on the threshold means a country can be very, very close to actually having a nuclear weapon, but hasn’t actually produced one.  The term is often used that they can be a screwdriver’s turn away from actually putting together a nuclear weapon.

And experts have said for years, for decades that if Iran is allowed to become a threshold nuclear weapon state, that will stimulate a cascade of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, which of course is a very dangerous region of the world.  And there are other countries there that, if Iran was allowed to have that capability, they are going to want exactly that same capability.

"Supporting deal, Sen. Casey says Iran is far too close to a nuclear weapon right now" PBS NewsHour 9/1/2015


SUMMARY:  President Obama is now just one vote away from being able to veto legislation blocking approval of the Iranian nuclear deal.  Two Senate Democrats, Chris Coons of Delaware and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, announced their support today.  Sen. Bob Casey joins Judy Woodruff to discuss his stance.

"Why the American Jewish community is divided over the Iran deal" PBS NewsHour 9/3/2015


SUMMARY:  Among the American Jewish community, the Iran nuclear deal has triggered vigorous debate.  While advocacy groups and politicians campaign for both sides of the issue, members of the Jewish community grapple with what’s best for Israel and for America.  Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner looks at why the deal has become such a contentious issue.

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