by Richard H. Shulman


Wishful Thinking: Facts and experience inconveniencing his case, Roger Cohen's New York Times op-ed substitutes fantasy (7/18/15). Easily debunked, his rationalizations would be amusing, if the subject weren't serious.

How serious? Rather than the treaty barring Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, it legitimizes it after a waiting period. Iran has 5 to 15 years to reach the goal it has sought for decades, but less if Iran and Russia cheat. Their record: successful cheating.

N. Korea Demonstrates the Fallacy of Nuclear Pacts: N. Korea signed the anti-proliferation treaty, too. Now N. Korea reportedly is rehearsing how to use nuclear weapons to paralyze the U.S. electric grid. The U.S. is not doing anything to stop it. So much for enforcing nuclear treaties with fanatics! In those cases, the remark that talking is better than fighting does not apply.

Survival Should Not Be a Partisan Issue: The Administration and media turn this pact into a partisan issue. National survival should be above politics.

Denigration Instead of Discussion: Mockery starts right in. Sentence two declares that an Israeli Cabinet member, "unable to resist outrageous hyperbole calls it (the agreement) one of the darkest days in world history.' "Jeb bush, doing the tired Chamberlain-Obama number, dismisses it as 'appeasement.'"

Outrageous hyperbole? We'll show it isn't. But Consider Mr. Cohen's statement, "Pres. Obama did not set out to change Iran, but he has created a framework that, over a decade, might." What "framework?" Nothing in the pact would help change Iran. National security policies should not be based on wishful thinking.

Actually, the pact revives Iran's economy and legitimizes Iran's rogue efforts. The agreement not only starts out unfreezing perhaps $100 billion of Iranian funds, but it opens up extensive foreign investment there. Much of that money can finance terrorism. When triumphant, the ruling radicals will not mellow.

A later Cohen hyperbole is that "if implemented, the agreement constitutes the most remarkable American diplomatic achievement since the Dayton Accords put an end to the Bosnian War." Also, the agreement "offers a lesson of stubborn leadership in pursuit of a long-term goal." Among others, it "makes the Middle East less dangerous by forestalling proliferation." Really?

Mr. Cohen's hyperbole is wishful thinking. Nevertheless, people echo him. Shouldn't they be more skeptical?

Long-term? 10-15 years is short for planners of jihad.

Will Mideast Be Less Dangerous?: The pact makes the Middle East more dangerous, by allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons, sooner if it cheats as usual, later if it obeys as rarely it does. As a result of the pact, rivals of uncertain stability have decided to acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran's proxies overwhelm other countries, the victims may resort to nuclear warfare. In any case, Iran would have the funding to place another hundred thousand missiles in Lebanon, capable of destroying Israel without nuclear bombs. So the pact facilitates more war, gives Iran an advantage, and tempts nuclear war. Some deal!

Appeasement: Calling an argument "tired," as Cohen does, is an old ploy. Ironically, he, himself, often repeats discarded arguments about the jihad-Israel conflict, varying only their wording in proposing Israeli appeasement of jihadists. Appeasement whets dictators' appetites.

Maligning Critics: Paragraph 2 identifies Obama's critics as Republicans and as Israel, but does not identify the equally critical Sunni Arabs. [Eventually, some Saudi officials seemed to endorse the pact, but that is after they had roundly criticized it and then came under U.S. pressure.]

Mr. Cohen asks what the critics seek "in place of the deal with Iran that verifiably blocks Tehran's path to nuclear weapons for at least the next 10-15 years." Such wording makes the critics look like villains, but they contend that the pact would not accomplish what he claims. They don't believe it would verifiably block.

They seek, Mr. Cohen answers for them: "what would have happened if negotiations had collapsed. That would be renewed war talk as an unconstrained Iran installs sophisticated centrifuges, its stockpile of enriched uranium grows, Russia and China abandon the sanctions regime, moderates in Iran...are sidelined, and" Iran gets nuclear weapons. Mr. Cohen adds, "To favor such peril, when a constructive alternative exists that engages one of the most highly educated societies in the Middle East amounts to foolishness dressed up as machismo."

What has education got to do with it? "Engaged" sounds nice, but has failed with Russia and China — Obama thinks they are engaged, but the enemy doesn't.

The critics had wanted really strong sanctions, but Obama weakened sanctions. Years ago, powerful sanctions would have forced Iran's regime to end its nuclear weapons drive and even to abdicate, without war. Obama didn't let that happen. So, Iran progressed in nuclear weapons development, putting the lie to Obama's claims about his interim agreement suspending the nuclear effort. Why believe him any more?

Second, does Cohen really think that Obama's critics wanted negotiations to fail? They foresaw the failure of negotiations to accomplish its stated goals. The Oslo Accords are an example of signed deals that empower rather than stop jihad. Obama's critics wanted a good deal, but saw that he wasn't demanding enough and that he drops sensible demands.

Already At War, the Real Question Is How to Wage it: The problem is not war (which we really are in, considering that Iran killed a thousand GIs), but waging it foolishly. The U.S. could destroy Iran's defense, nuclear, and retaliatory capabilities and defenses against periodic raids, without making a major war.

Deal Is Limited: Don't blame Obama for the deal not ending our other problems with Iran, exhorts Mr. Cohen. But I do. Iran poses three problems to us: (1) Nuclear; (2) Conventional military; and (3) Destabilizing ideology. Iran is dominating over other countries, employing terrorism as one method.

Contrary to what Cohen and Obama declare, the deal does involve non-nuclear issues. The pact would infuse Iran with sufficient capital to prevail militarily in its region. It repeals UN Resolutions against conventional arms for Iran.

Misleading On Centrifuges: The pact is said to slash the number of Iran's centrifuges. That is not clear. Destroy them or turn them off (until they are turned back on)? In any case, Iran is allowed a certain number of centrifuges of any type; Iran is developing advanced centrifuges to negate a numerical limit. So the limit is illusory. Were our diplomats deceived by Iran or are they trying to deceive us? Now Pres. Obama is rushing the pact into taking effect. (He didn't release some of it yet, and Congress soon will be taking its summer recess). Too long to negotiate, too little time to evaluate.

De-Enrichment is Reversible: Iran is to reduce the enrichment of uranium. The Administration never mentions that the reduction is reversible. Reversibility is a significant fact. This fact also applied to the much touted interim agreement.

Excess uranium would be sent to Russia. Like the way Syria sent its chemical weapons to Russia, but still is able to gas opponents? The Wall St. Journal of 7/24/15 explained that under wartime conditions, Syria set the condition on the ground. So inspection was limited. Russia interfered. But when the inspectors finished their mission, we were given the impression that it was complete. This was misleading. Foreign inspections rarely work. (Examples: N. Korea, Iraq, Iran, smuggling war materiel into Gaza.) We should be more skeptical.

It is folly to place our national security in the hands of Russia, another enemy of ours. Indeed, treaty enforcement is in the hands of a committee and of the Security Council, on which Russia and China sit. They oppose strong sanctions.

Façade of Inspection: People outside the Administration discovered that inspections, which Obama, Kerry, and Cohen claim would detect violations, allow Iran 24 days in which Iran could erase evidence. (It's longer, as we'll see.)

If caught, sanctions would be, in Obama's terminology, "snapped back." Don't expect it to be. We can't depend on him, since he opposed sanctions. Anyway it would be too late, because foreign countries would want to keep their new business deals with Iran. Critically, Russia and China could veto "snapback." How come Obama and Cohen don't understand that, though critics explain it?

The more the pact is studied, the worse it appears. The Hudson Institute finds that several of the Byzantine-like procedures have vague terms that Iran could contest, are ambiguous about how certain decisions are to be made, and are open-ended about time. It could take months for an inspection (Hillel Fradkin, Lewis Libby, Wall St. Journal, 7/22/15, A15). That, friends, is the break-out time Iran would need to assemble a bomb.

U.S. Kept Caving In: U.S. negotiators dropped sensible demands, and acquiesced to Iran's wrongful demands. The pact now is worded to give the right impression but not the right outcome. While Obama claims to have moved to the right outcome, Iran boasts that it will keep developing nuclear capability.

The pact removes sanctions from three nuclear proliferators, including an Iranian who headed the illicit effort and a German convicted of illegal nuclear arms trade. What does that signify to you? Peaceable intent?

Maybe Iran Will Learn to Cooperate?: Another maybe is that after cooperating against ISIS, the U.S. and Iran may learn to cooperate on other things. In kindergarten, that might work. In the adult world, however, the regime of Iran remains a (fanatical) enemy, as it admits. Khameini is rallying crowds with chants of "Death to the U.S., death to Israel!" The Iranian regime hasn't the goodwill for cooperation.

Just before the Cold War, the USSR cooperated partially against the Axis. That cooperation did not end the Soviet drive to conquer the world. Cohen describes the overtures to China and the Soviets as transformative. Actually, China and Russia are two of our worst adversaries.

Cohen calls a mellowing of Iran a possibility. He does not explain how that reversal would come about. Do we now depend on possibilities? "Maybe" is a policy based on what Pres. Obama, widely quoted on it, calls "stupid shit."

Nuclear Weapons Development Continues: Apparently, the pact lets Iran continue to develop or import triggers for exploding nuclear bombs. Those triggers and ICBMs have use only in nuclear weapons. Yet some Americans think that perhaps Iran, despite fomenting wars and instability, nevertheless has peaceable intent for nuclear development. Does that make sense?

What Iranian Reformers?: The pact locks in dialogue with Iran and it empowers Iranian reformists, suggests Cohen.


The next day's New York Times editorial followed with the same hope that the pact could strengthen Iran's alleged moderates. What moderates? They call President Rouhani a moderate, but he has boasted about deceiving the West on nuclear development. "Moderates" within Radical Islam are a media fabrication.

The Times is falling into the same trap as did Pres. Reagan, when, under the impression that Iran had moderates with whom he could deal, he armed Iran. However, the Ayatollah is in firm charge of Iran, together with his council, the Islamist armed forces, and the hired thugs. True, most young Iranians don't like that, but they don't count in a dictatorship. We shouldn't render ourselves vulnerable in the hope that they will revolt in the next decade.

Defending the Deal on "Maybes": The deal does not involve human rights, but the editors think Pres. Obama plans to encourage Iran to restore some. How would we make human rights observers out of fanatical bigots who attack innocent people? They consider us evil. Not very amenable to our persuasion.

Iran Developing Nuclear Missiles: The editors claim that the pact leaves sanctions against buying missiles. That's not clear, but in any case, Iran is developing its own missiles. As the 7/23 Wall St. Journal editorial points out, a regained access to commercial markets will enable Iran to cheat, which it has become expert at doing.

Diplomacy is not Itself an Accomplishment, It Can Go Either Way: One paragraph discusses the coming flurry of diplomatic visits. Implication: peace-making. No basis for such imagining. Diplomacy can be used to lower enemies' guard and to gain their acquiescence. Remember Pearl Harbor, Japan's sneak attack while we were negotiating peace. Totalitarians do this to naïve U.S. negotiators.

False Measure of Military Strength: There's a claim that Iran isn't so dangerous, since Sunni countries and Israel spend more than it does. One can't measure security in funds spent. The Arabs spent more than Israel, but lost their wars of aggression against Israel. Besides, Iran fights asymmetrically and mostly against weak states individually.

Failure to Consider Shia Twelver Fanaticism: Editors claim that Israel's nuclear weapons make it safe. No, Iran would use nuclear weapons against Israel — the Twelver religion doesn't value its people's earthly lives. To the contrary, it perceives an Armageddon as leading to victory by Islam and Paradise, for Muslims. Besides, Iran will become able to afford giving so many ordinary missiles to Hezbollah as to blanket Israel. Israel would be doomed unless it fires nuclear bombs first. Must it come to that?

Compensating Allies: As consolation to Iran's opponents, Pres. Obama offers weaponry whose value is a fraction of what he is unfreezing and what would be invested in Iran. Think that is much consolation? How many people are going to get killed in wars, including nuclear ones, as a result of this anti-war President?

Obama also promises cybersecurity. He hasn't yet worked with U.S. companies on it. Cyberwar against the U.S. is done with impunity.

Cybersecurity needs to be pursued independently. Poor compensation to give a sword and spear to an enemy, and then a sword and shield to an ally. It's risky.

Depending on a Pact Being Honored: The pact, "if" honored by both sides... (NY Times, 7/19/15, Ed.) If? Iran has violated its nuclear treaty for decades. Do you expect it to honor this one?


Sec. of State Kerry told a Senate hearing that only this pact could curb Iran from making nuclear weapons. He said its failure would isolate the U.S..

An appendix provides for inspectors to get material samples from the Parchin research center, which the U.S. believes were testing high explosives for nuclear weapons. Senators Corker and Risch noted that the samples would be taken by Iran. That invalidates sample reliability. The U.S. claims it does not have a copy of that appendix, to show the Senate.

[This is like Pres. Nixon's missing tape time and Sec. of State Clinton's missing emails.]

The newspapers report complaints that Senate critics were disrespectful. The reports are incomplete without quotations. How can we judge without evidence? Do they mean that a Senator who found out that the inspectors' samples from Parchin were to be supplied by Iran, said we were "swindled." But we were (Jonathan Weisman, Michael R. Gordon, NY Times, 7/24, 2015).

Is the allegation of disrespect meant to incite support for a pact that has poor supporting arguments?

Apparently, diplomacy failed for lack of: (a) Really harsh sanctions; and (2) Unwillingness to resort to military action if diplomacy failed. Kerry and Obama had assured us that we could impose tough sanctions (that Obama opposed). What ensued was predicted. The counter-argument to the Obama policy is that if sanctions were harsh and Iran knew we meant business, it might have had to stand down.

Pres. Obama contends that this agreement is the major one of our time. Yet he depicts it as a mere executive agreement and not a treaty. A treaty can be rejected if just more than 1/3 of the Senators disapprove. But this agreement can be rejected only if more than 2/3 of the Senators disapprove. This is being high-handed about too critical a matter.

Leaving evidence-sampling at a suspected weapons site up to Iran, as the appendix does, is amateurish. Who looks out for U.S. national security? This pact disregards common sense.


Yes, Congress can vote on the pact in September. But in a few days, the U.S. is bringing the pact before the UN. This would cancel all UN resolutions banning Iran's nuclear imports. So, even if Congress votes no, the other sanctions are ended.

Mr. Krauthammer thinks the deal should have arranged for the release of U.S. prisoners. I have no opinion about that, but without an iron fist, our empty velvet glove cannot compel prisoner release. The enemy can see that Pres. Obama is loath to use the military option.

At the last minute, Iran and Russia demanded that the U.S. agree to end the missile and conventional weapons embargoes on Iran. Supposedly, they sensed Obama's desperation for a pact to leave as his legacy.

Problem is, Iran could get anti-ship missiles. Then it could shut the U.S. out of nearby international waterways (Krauthammer via IMRA, 7/17/15).

The Wall St. Journal notes that Obama operates by sounding open but actually boxing opponents in (as with the Senate vote and submitting our security to the UN).

The Kicker: IMRA just disseminated Russia's announcement that its anti-aircraft missiles can detect cloaked B-52 stealth bombers. In a couple of years, the U.S. no longer could destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. The pact would have years to go, but the U.S. could not enforce it. What do you think Iran would do?

My public sources knew that Russia was overcoming our stealth technology. How could the President not have known that? Therefore, Obama's claim that the next President could act against Iranian violations is uncertain.


No Notice of a Bomb: Pres. Obama claims that the pact insures having sufficient notice to prevent Iran from assembling a nuclear weapon. But Pres. Obama also admits that upon expiration of the deal (a deal which supposedly gives us a year's notice that Iran is seeking a bomb), Iran no longer is obliged to give notice and can officially bar foreign inspections. This means that Iran then could assemble a bomb without notice. That admission contradicts his assurances.

Iran Can Arm to Prevent Enforcement: Russia's decision to sell Iran its anti-missile system violates the deal's supposed 5-year arms embargo on Iran. Pres. Obama does not object. [Still think he intends to enforce the deal?] So a future President who wants to raid Iran's nuclear facilities using missiles would find our missiles shot out of the sky (in addition to our planes and ships). The value of this pact is illusory.

U.S. Unlikely to Try to Reinsert Sanctions: If we try to resume sanctions, we are told, Iran would abandon the treaty. Based on experience, we are likely to look the other way, rather than admit the deal was defective. We will be urged to show restraint, while Iran prepares Armageddon. "Snapback?" Not likely.


Military sites are exempt from inspections, including ones suspected of nuclear weapons development. For example, the Parchin site is a suspected of military work on nuclear facilities, but it is on a military base, therefore exempt from inspection. That exemption could be a fatal weakness of the pact.

Inspectors have to give Iran reasons for wanting access to sites. This invites debate and therefore delays. It also would reveal aspects of inspectors' methods, enabling Iran to figure out how to counter-act them.

Iran doesn't have to explain its violations of UN sanctions, and inspectors are not allowed to interview Iranians. Therefore, inspectors would have fewer clues to look for (MEMRI, 7/24/15 via IMRA, 7/26).


The case for the pact rests on misrepresentation and unwarranted hopes. Proponents' imagination speculates about Iran becoming friendly. Their imagination stops short of asking such questions as why Iran has been drawing negotiations out for years, while their nuclear development proceeds.


What would Iran do if the deal passes? That depends on what the deal is and on who would enforce it. I find the pact a fraud. Every alleged restriction, if not already removed from negotiations, has a major loophole. Accordingly:

  1. Iran won't reveal what advances it has made. That denial precludes benchmarks to gauge how far it has left to go and what it might be trying to do. How to know when to resort to bombing? Pres. Obama's assurances that we would know crumble.

    Can we always resort to bombing? Iran is buying missile defenses that could prevent the aging U.S. military from bombing Iran's known nuclear sites.
  2. The ban excludes nuclear bomb triggers and missiles to carry them. That part of weapons development Iran can develop fully, without much hindrance. Iran has been working on those technologies that exclusively deal with nuclear weapons. This fact contradicts Pres. Obama's assurances about his interim and new deals keeping Iran from further nuclear weapons development.

    This illegal work indicates bad faith by Iran. It also stains our negotiators for not banning it. There have been many examples of Iran's bad faith. Bad faith should be a deal-killer, especially in a deal typified by loopholes.
  3. Iran long has deceived and obstructed the treaty-authorized inspectors. Iran has experimented in secret. If inspectors somehow find out about new, secret nuclear weapons development, Iran can claim the labs are in a closed military zone, and deny inspection. This loophole contradicts Pres. Obama's assurance about inspections taking priority.
  4. Stalling Inspectors: In non-military zones, Iran has 24 days to scrub evidence. It also has an unstated, perhaps indefinite allowance to review and stall. Why didn't the Administration admit that? Remember that Iran is only a few months away from nuclear weaponry. Therefore the deal does not offer a rigorous inspection regimen, despite Administration assurances.
  5. Obama also promises that the U.S. can always "snap back" sanctions. Who would decide and who would comply? Not clear. Russia, China, and Obama usually object to more sanctions. But the deal exempts new contracts signed before Iran is found in violation. Countries and companies are hastening to sign contracts. Then what bite would sanctions have?

    We've experienced the dissolution of sanctions before, in Iraq. Saddam found ways to smuggle oil out. Also, the UN set up an oil-for-food program, but Saddam sold the food to buy more arms. Americans forget that the sanctions regime was collapsing. That was one of the motives for renewing the Gulf War.

    The deal would let Iran remove tens of billions of unfrozen dollars from Western jurisdiction. No snap-back for those tens of billions. The Obama administration was giving us false assurances on that aspect, too.

    Bypassing Congress: What kind of fraud is it to offer Congress a weak voice in vetoing the sanctions, when Pres. Obama knows that the Security Council probably will vote beforehand to remove the sanctions?
  6. The Administration claims that the deal bars Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the deal is temporary. When the deal ends, so do the alleged restrictions. This deal, the prior, interim deal, and the previous relinquishing of sanctions have let Iran develop its nuclear capability.
  7. Pres. Obama said that the deal involves only nuclear issues. He knows that is false. The deal ends sanctions on Iran for non-nuclear criminality. Sanctions are to be removed for Iranian officials involved in terrorism.
  8. More recently, it was found that Iran made a secret side-deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Congress is being asked to vote on the deal the U.S. made, without knowing what concessions the IAEA may have made with Iran and whether those concessions supersede the deal with the U.S.. That makes this deal a blind one. Why should we believe Pres. Obama about a deal we can't read. Congress ought to reject the deal on that deception, alone.

    Sec. of State Kerry has been issuing reassurances, too. Kerry admits not having read the deal. How can we take his assurances about our survival seriously.


Pres. Obama has called critics all sorts of names. Name-calling is a poor defense. So is his accusing critics of "playing fast and loose with the facts," without his naming any such facts. What you read so far indicates who is playing fast and loose with the facts — it's not the critics.

The media fell down on its job by not asking him what facts were distorted and then reporting the result of its query. The public may have gotten used to the Obama and New York Times tactic of drawing conclusions without indicating a factual basis. If the media were a public interest watchdog, it would note that Pres. Obama reached conclusions without reference to facts.

Pres. Obama has gotten Arab states to say they support the deal. Some of them, however, indicate a different view of the deal by moving to their own nuclear proliferation. We can discount the Arab statements.

Scientists' bandwagon support: Some prominent scientists have expressed support for the pact. Their expression also is stated in generalizations. It does not address the criticisms of the pact in any convincing detail. Bandwagon propaganda over national security is dangerous.

Pres. Obama throws down the challenge, "What's your alternative?" It's a bit unfair. He has dug us into a big hole, and then acts as if the difficulty in climbing out of it is our fault.

That is: (1) He signals Iran that he won't exercise a military option. That undoubtedly stiffened Iran's opposition to a deal that would accomplish our goals; (2) He exempted Iran from the stiffest sanctions and blocked others. That took most of the rest of the pressure off Iran; and (3) He backed down on one reasonable U.S. demand after another; obviously he was more interested in getting an agreement than in risking an impasse trying to get an effective agreement. Hence Iran rejected one U.S. demand after another, and made last minute demands of its own.

Iran's bargaining evaded proper restrictions and monitoring. What else for but to acquire nuclear weaponry? Compare Iran with Ukraine's relinquishing dozens of nuclear weapons in return for U.S. protection that Pres. Obama is not honoring. His behavior toward Ukraine is a clue to whether he would enforce even the mild restrictions in the Iran deal.

Victims of terrorism sponsored by Iran have won lawsuits against Iran's assets. Pres. Obama should have released those assets to the victims. He kept them frozen. Unfreezing them will keep victims from gaining access to them.

The taunt that critics of the Iran deal have no alternative reminds us of a similar taunt about critics of the Oslo Accords and recent negotiations between the P.A. and Israel. There, the status quo is better than the likeliest negotiating outcomes. There are other alternatives, but the media ignored them because they don't favor the P.A.. Since the P.A. urges bigotry, conflict, and even war, favoring the P.A. does not resolve problems, it exacerbates them.

One alternative in dealing with Iran would be to impose crippling sanctions. That is more difficult to impose, now that countries' economic greed or desperation is pulling them away from sanctions. Thank you, Pres. Obama!

Thomas Friedman (NY Times, 12/8/15) urges PM Netanyahu not to oppose the Iran deal, without offering an alternative. But he has -- stiff sanctions and bombing. The deal offers nothing. but Friedman repeats refuted claims about it.

Pres. Obama accuses critics of thirsting for war. Not true. He also likens military action to the long and extensive effort in Iraq. That is demagoguery. The critics had wanted tougher sanctions so as to avoid war.

We could do periodic raids to destroy Iran's air defenses and nuclear facilities. We don't have to fight all its troops; we don't have to pay to rebuild the country. Pres. Obama mischaracterizes what military action need do.

Meanwhile, Pres. Obama lets our military forces wither. The top brass questions whether we have the resources for a single conventional war. If he lets Iran acquire excellent anti-aircraft defenses, we won't have a military option.

Neither would Israel, even if the U.S. sells Israel arms that Thomas Friedman thinks would deter Iran. Mr. Friedman rests his case on an assertion that Iran is not suicidal. His case contradicts the Shiite religious belief in sacrifice for the faith. During the Iran-Iraq war, Iran sacrificed thousands of children by having them trigger land mines, to save time in defusing them.

In claiming that Iran won't attack Israel, Mr. Friedman also asserts that the Muslims know that Israel willingly kills civilians in countering military attacks [as is Israel's right]. But the Muslims don't know that. What they know is that Israel refrains from many counter-attacks lest it kill civilians.

Out of the blue, Mr. Friedman returns to his old obsession, getting a state for the jihadist Palestinian Arabs. He weaves that obsession into many articles. Here he calls the status quo an existential threat to Israel, ignoring the likelihood that the P.A. would team up with outside jihadists to attack Israel, which really would be an existential menace. He describes the threat as demographic, a refuted claim. A state run by the current jihadists who teach their subjects to hate Jews and to use violence against Israel is no solution. Someone should ask Mr. Friedman what's his alternative.


If we can't snap back sanctions, and if we lack a military option, what would keep rogue Iran from violating the deal?

Advocates of the Iran deal assert that the funds released to Iran would be use to improve Iran's economy. Critics of the deal assert that those funds would be used for terrorism. Which is likely?

I think the funds suffice for both objectives. Additionally, the contracts and letters of intent that Iran is signing with foreign investors would boost Iran's economy. When economists discuss how much money would be unfrozen, they should add an estimate for foreign investment boosting Iran's economy.

Boosting the economy reduces internal opposition to the regime. But considering that Iran devotes resources to destabilizing other regimes and promoting terrorist militias, you can be sure that the deal relieves Iran of financial pressure to reduce aid to Syria and Hezbollah, among others.

Iranian support keeps Assad in power. Syria receives Iranian shipments for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah is a deterrent against Israeli attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities. Therefore, Iran will be sure to step up its subsidies of terrorism, for its regime's self-preservation and to preserve its bid for regional hegemony. All this war is thanks to Pres. Obama, supposedly anti-war.

Another dispute is what Iran would do about nuclear weapons. Iran now claims that even before Iran's current President took office, Pres. Obama assured Iran that he would recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium. If that claim is correct, then Obama was lying to the American people when he said that negotiations would prevent Iranian enrichment. In any case, the negotiations don't.

I've contended that restricting the number of centrifuges don't matter, because Iran will improve the efficiency of centrifuges many-fold. Now the head of Iran's nuclear development has made the same point. If Iran reduced its supply of enriched uranium, if could recoup its status on enrichment in short order, using the superior centrifuges. So the treaty does not gain us time to detect a breakout to building a bomb (especially in facilities that Iran doesn't let be inspected.)

Will Iran develop nuclear weapons when the pact expires, or will it cheat and develop them sooner? We don't know. Neither path favors our security.

Iran could decide to wait, because now they will get the funds to spread non-nuclear terrorism. On the other hand, Iran could cheat, and then enjoy a nuclear umbrella over its spreading efforts to destabilize other countries and terrorize.

There is no indication that Pres. Obama will prevent Iran from getting the anti-aircraft defense that would neutralize our military option. I think that when Iran gets an anti-aircraft defense that the U.S. cannot defeat, and it has captured the unfrozen funds, it will decide to develop nuclear weapons. The negotiations were fraudulent on both sides.

Would Iran use those nuclear weapons against Israel at once? Maybe. On the other hand, it may wait until it has enough to attack what it considers the Big Satan and the Little Satan at the same time.

People who think that the cooperation shown to Iran by the Obama administration will make Iran peaceable don't understand the fanatical religious dimension of Iranian jihad. Iran still could cooperate with the U.S. on issues of interest to Iran. That does not mean they accept the legitimacy of the U.S.. Their leaders state that publicly. Even as the U.S. was caving in to all of Iran's demands, the regime was hating the U.S.. In their eyes, we are evil. The clerical regime hates the U.S. for its potential to stymie Iran's jihad.

Suppose that Europe's Jews had pledged to cooperate with the Nazi regime if it spared them. The pledge wouldn't work. Nazism considered the Jewish people inherently evil. Radical Islam concurs. No compromise is possible.

Richard H. Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at This article was originally two separate articles, submitted September 3, 2015 and August 12, 2015.

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