Iran Deal: 10 Facts You May Have Overlooked

by Gary Sick

via Gary’s Choices

In the avalanche of reportage and commentary on the nuclear deal with Iran, here are a few tiny facts that may have escaped your notice:

1.  France’s President François Hollande made his triumphal trip to Israel (a hero because he put a speed bump in the way of an agreement); a few days later, France returned to the negotiations and quietly signed the text. Can he still wear his hero medal?

2.  Opponents of the deal denounce the “shredding” of the United Nations Security Council resolutions (which demanded that Iran stop all enrichment) but fail to notice that all five Permanent Members of the Security Council negotiated and signed off on the text. These are the same countries that passed those resolutions.

3.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just a year ago used a cartoon drawing of a bomb to illustrate that Iran was getting perilously close to a nuclear weapon; the agreement moves Iran far away from his famous red line. Is that a “historic mistake?”

4.  Netanyahu in 1992 said that if no one intervened Iran would have a bomb within five years — and he has been saying the same thing ever since. He has been consistently wrong for more than two decades.

5.  If you look carefully at the words of the opposition, you’ll see that they base all their objections on the supposition that Iran will renege on its commitments and the US will acquiesce. Do they have an alternative? Whining is not a policy.

6.  The dog that didn’t bark: since the last Iranian election there has not been one peep from our old friend Ahmadinejad. Several American politicians who relish conflict in the Middle East have said they miss him. I don’t.

7.  The other dog: the strangely silent Revolutionary Guards. Ditto.

8.  Have you noticed how many of the people opposing the nuclear agreement are the same ones who thought invading Iraq was a nifty idea? War good; talk bad.

9.  Iran is so determined to build a nuclear weapon that it renounces them under any and all circumstances, reduces its production of enriched uranium, and invites the largest group of inspectors in history to monitor its activities. Hmmmm…

10.  Iran has been able to build a nuclear device for at least seven years and has not done so. In the eyes of some that is absolute proof of their deviousness.

— Gary Sick is a former captain in the U.S. Navy, who served as an Iran specialist on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. He currently teaches at Columbia University. He blogs at

Photo Credit: ISNA/Mona Hoobehfekr

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  1. Do you know that it is Israel that has the nuclear bombs and not Iran? If not you now know. Just google it
    The wrong country is being blamed for nuclear weapons. Israel built them in secret and introduced them to the region. Please write about this to inform people.

  2. Interesting points. It would be very productive if they were published in the M.S.M., for all to see. Whether this will come about, remains to be seen. As each day passes, the world breathes easier, though I’m not sure the naysayers do.

  3. You miss the point.

    Having been to Masada and imagining the evil Roman ramp inching nearer and nearer every day you can sense the fear and hopelessness and the courage to kill to survive. Having been to the ghetto you have to know that eventually, no matter what they did, the Nazis would one day have to raze it to the ground. Never again.

    So Iran beset by a ‘world in arms’ with the gunsights centered isn’t watching for a ramp, it’s being proud and haughty and threatening. And the people of Gaza eating Israeli candy and treats, living in their own waste, aren’t the same kind of people who lived in the Warsaw ghetto, they too are a threat. One day, too, they’ll ‘force’ their own destruction.


  4. What point is missed? Your Masada imaginings are laughably subjective, and, obviously, you haven’t a clue about the condition of despised, demonized Palestinians. Israel is armed to her nuclear teeth and hides an enormous stockpile of WMD from international inspection–while whining about an Iran that signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That’s hypocrisy.

  5. Here are 3 Facts:
    1. The U.S. has limited intelligence/knowledge of what Iranian capabilities are. We just do not know the extent or capabilities of their programs.
    2. The Iranians are no different than the North Koreans; they have cheated on agreements in the past and it should be expected that they will cheat in the future.
    3. Given 1 and 2, any agreement that doesn’t begin with rigorous on-site, unannounced inspections is likely to fail.

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