Iran Nuclear Deal Discussion

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  • #51
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What matters is nut bars not getting a nuclear bomb.
Is that true? This agreement, in my view, makes it easier for Iran to get one bomb, and harder for them to get ten. Is that better or worse?
 
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What matters is nut bars not getting a nuclear bomb. Everything else is 'what if' mush. It's like having a crazy nut with a gun living next to my family...I want him gone. I'm not factoring in that the next family might not mow their lawn. The scale of potential problems are vastly different to my security.
I agree that the objective is to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. And I approve of this deal. We don't disagree on the endpoint. We disagree on the means to the end. I am much less willing to jump straight to a war. Wars are terrible. They should be the last option, not the first.

I'm not sure what you mean by "what if" mush. "What if" they give up on a path to nuclear weapons? Is that mush? That is the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, Kerry said Iran has agreed to:
  • voluntarily remove 98% of its stockpile of enriched uranium
  • dismantle two-thirds of installed centrifuges
  • take out the core of an existing heavy water reactor and fill it with concrete
  • refrain from producing or acquiring highly-enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium for at least 15 years
  • ratify through parliament "additional access requirements" for nuclear inspectors
Iran does not have nuclear weapons now. If they do not cheat, they won't have nuclear weapons for the next 10 years. I'm not able to guarantee they won't cheat. If they do, then a military conflict would be a distinct possibility.

The sanctions are lifting. The world recognizes the Iran deal as a deal where Iran stops pursuing weapons and the world stops the sanctions. There really is NO ALTERNATIVE realistically. The sanctions are done. There is not a reason to strike Iran militarily, as they are not pursuing nuclear weapons. Let them reduce the stockpile. Let them dismantle the centrifuges. We all want the same endpoint. Lets see if this deal gets us there.
 
  • #53
russ_watters
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I don't yet know where I stand on the agreement, but want to comment on this, as it has come up several times:
I agree that the objective is to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. And I approve of this deal. We don't disagree on the endpoint. We disagree on the means to the end. I am much less willing to jump straight to a war. Wars are terrible. They should be the last option, not the first.
It doesn't appear to me that war is on the table for anyone, so it appears to me that bringing it up and suggesting that others are "willing to jump straight to a war" is a strawman...and not just a strawman applied to others. If a person believes that war is the only other option, they may be more likely to support the agreement, whould would be wrong thinking. So I ask you: if war is not on the table at all - as any option, much less the first for the "no agreement" side - do you still support the agreement?
 
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I don't yet know where I stand on the agreement, but want to comment on this, as it has come up several times:

It doesn't appear to me that war is on the table for anyone, so it appears to me that bringing it up and suggesting that others are "willing to jump straight to a war" is a strawman...and not just a strawman applied to others. If a person believes that war is the only other option, they may be more likely to support the agreement, whould would be wrong thinking. So I ask you: if war is not on the table at all - as any option, much less the first for the "no agreement" side - do you still support the agreement?
The alternatives to a deal were continued sanctions, or a warfare/conflict solution.

The continuation of sanctions is OFF the table. The UN has approved the deal. It is confusing because we are talking about what WERE the alternatives, and what ARE the alternatives. The sanctions are being lifted in exchange for an Iranian nuclear program change. The US has approved a 60 day Congressional review. The rest of the world is not waiting for that. If at the end of the 60 days, enough of Congress wants to, they can over-ride the President, and force the US to continue sanctions. How that would affect the deal is unknown. It certainly would eliminate the US from any oversight role, as they are not participants in the deal, having rejected it.

I favor Congress approving the deal. If they don't approve it, I hope they don't block it.

I'm not sure if people are suggesting war or not. It would seem that is the other alternative. I understand that people do not like the deal that was negotiated. But that doesn't change that it is what it is. The President has the authority to conduct that negotiation. And he has signed a bill requiring a 60 day review, after which the deal is only rejected if he signs the bill to reject it or if Congress has an over-ride of a vetoed rejection.

There is no other deal. There is no other President. The foreign policy that he pursues is what you get.
 
  • #55
russ_watters
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The alternatives to a deal were continued sanctions, or a warfare/conflict solution.
Sure, but you implied that war was the first/most likely option if no deal was reached. Obama is largely responsible for creating that deal-or-war dichotomy, but it is nonsense:
"There really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it's resolved through force, through war. Those are -- those are the options."

- President Obama, July 15th 2015

The Obama administration's latest argument for the Iran deal -- support it, or there will be war -- is shameful. It is borderline political blackmail. It reveals an administration desperate to avoid debating the deal on its merits, preferring instead to intimidate its critics into acquiescence by accusing them of being warmongers.
https://www.weeklystandard.com/blog...-iran-deal-doesnt-pass-laugh-test_992618.html

But this is Obama we're talking about. He's Commander in Chief of the military, not Congress. I can't imagine anyone actually believes he would attack Iran in any capacity, and as little as six weeks ago was essentially saying there was no military option on the table (as, my recollection is, that has always been his position):
"A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it,"
The reason the deal smells bad to me is mostly because of the way Obama went about it. He threatened the US with war to coerce us to accept the deal instead of threatening Iran with war to coerce them to accept the deal!

This is related to his claim in April that a deal had been reached, which was a flat lie, and a pointless/counterproductive one in my opinion. Since he's not running for re-election, he doesn't need to win shouting matches with Republicans - he shouldn't care if they were criticizing him for his failure to reach a deal. All that lie did was back himself into a corner where he had to acquiesce to Iran's demands to avoid the lie becoming permanent. Again: he'd rather win a meaningless battle with Republicans than an important one with Iran. Much of this is paraphrase/summary from here:
http://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2015/04/the-tectonic-shift-in-obamas-iran-policy/
votingmachine said:
The continuation of sanctions is OFF the table. The UN has approved the deal. It is confusing because we are talking about what WERE the alternatives, and what ARE the alternatives.
I don't see why that is confusing -- we're trying to discuss whether the deal is good or bad and to do that, we have to consider what would have happened if no deal had been reached. Heck, you made the argument, I just challenged your assumption about what the primary alternative was.

The default "option" is essentially always maintaing the status quo if no deal is reached (decision on change is made). The decisions to make a change from status quo are nearly always separate decisions: Deal or status quo? War or status quo? Not "deal or war?".
There is no other deal. There is no other President. The foreign policy that he pursues is what you get.
Of course. But this discussion is about whether we like that policy and in order to judge whether we like it, we need to consider the alternatives.
 
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I don't see an explanation there of why continued or even more stringent sanctions was not viable, before the US went to the UN and put other countries on another path (lifting sanctions). The present sanctions forced Iran to slow down and talk, so there's evidence that this was the correct direction towards forcing Iran to dismantle its enrichment capability, as well as starving its ability to finance terror/insurrection activities around the world and especially in the ME.

The dismantling of Iranian enrichment would be positively verifiable, and then sanctions would be lifted. As it is, the Iranians have physically done almost nothing, and the US has a piece of paper in return.
Which much stringent (Western) sanctions you mean? Especially if you dislike just "piece of paper" how would you curb their trade potential with ex. China?
 
  • #57
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I don't yet know where I stand on the agreement, but want to comment on this, as it has come up several times:

It doesn't appear to me that war is on the table for anyone, so it appears to me that bringing it up and suggesting that others are "willing to jump straight to a war" is a strawman...and not just a strawman applied to others. If a person believes that war is the only other option, they may be more likely to support the agreement, whould would be wrong thinking. So I ask you: if war is not on the table at all - as any option, much less the first for the "no agreement" side - do you still support the agreement?
I thought that it was on the table for tom aaron.
I find it all baffling. I was against going into Iraq and Afghanistan. However, my stance on Iran would have been 'You have 14 days to stop all nuclear research or we are going to bomb the facilities and your regime into oblivion.' Zero negotiations...zero.
 
  • #58
russ_watters
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I thought that it was on the table for tom aaron.
Well, now we're getting into some shades of grey here. I would likely have supported a short bombing campaign as well. But that's not war, IMO. votinmachine's description included a full-fledged land war and deposing the current Iranian government - he even mentioned a nuclear attack.

Moreover, keeping the threat of an attack on the table is different from actually doing the attack. Obama brought the threat of an attack to the table in his negotiations with Congress, but didn't do so with Iran, for example.

In any case, tom aaron isn't President, Obama is, so I probably should have worded that differently: Obama's table is really the only one that mattered here.
 
  • #59
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Well, now we're getting into some shades of grey here. I would likely have supported a short bombing campaign as well. But that's not war, IMO. votinmachine's description included a full-fledged land war and deposing the current Iranian government - he even mentioned a nuclear attack.
To each his own I guess. I would think that bombing someone's regime into oblivion is pretty warlike.

While votingmachine may have expanded on tom aaron's bombing campaign, there have been plenty of examples in the middle east where U.S. bombing campaigns did become boots on the ground. As for the nuclear attack part, that was also originally brought up by tom aaron's post #3 (whether it's us or the Israelis probably doesn't matter to the Iranians). So, I didn't really see votingmachine's comments as raising to the level of strawman because of that.
 
  • #60
russ_watters
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To each his own I guess. I would think that bombing someone's regime into oblivion is pretty warlike.
I don't think an airstrike (similar to the Osirak bombing) - or even several - equates to "bombing someone's regime into oblivion". I don't think it is useful to create an umbrella under which all military action is considered "war", when clearly we all recognize that regardless of the label used, the differences are vast. It looks like part of the same strawman to me.
While votingmachine may have expanded on tom aaron's bombing campaign, there have been plenty of examples in the middle east where U.S. bombing campaigns did become boots on the ground.
I don't agree, but in either case there are also examples of bombing campaigns that didn't, so it is wrong to assume Gulf War III when the more likely scenario is Osirak II.

And again, I probably should have limited this to Obama's table. My point is that one should not base support for this agreement on opposition to an attack, because Obama would never have attacked.
 
  • #61
Borg
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I don't think an airstrike (similar to the Osirak bombing) - or even several - equates to "bombing someone's regime into oblivion". I don't think it is useful to create an umbrella under which all military action is considered "war", when clearly we all recognize that regardless of the label used, the differences are vast. It looks like part of the same strawman to me.

I don't agree, but in either case there are also examples of bombing campaigns that didn't, so it is wrong to assume Gulf War III when the more likely scenario is Osirak II.

And again, I probably should have limited this to Obama's table. My point is that one should not base support for this agreement on opposition to an attack, because Obama would never have attacked.
I don't think that a limited bombing campaign equates to that either. Again, I'm just quoting tom's original post.

I agree that the most likely scenario is Osirak II and the Israelis would likely be the ones to do it - unless maybe Trump gets into office. :wideeyed:
 
  • #62
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To each his own I guess. I would think that bombing someone's regime into oblivion is pretty warlike.

While votingmachine may have expanded on tom aaron's bombing campaign, there have been plenty of examples in the middle east where U.S. bombing campaigns did become boots on the ground. As for the nuclear attack part, that was also originally brought up by tom aaron's post #3 (whether it's us or the Israelis probably doesn't matter to the Iranians). So, I didn't really see votingmachine's comments as raising to the level of strawman because of that.
I gve a prediction and I still think it is correct that bombing is just the beginning of a conflict. That it is easy to start, but not easy to end.
I said:
"Any attack would lead to war between Iran, and the US and the US allies."
"It is likely that the Iranian nuclear sites are not easily bombed into non-existence. It is possible that the US can bring a massive amount of non-nuclear devastation into Iran and destroy those sites, but it is not a given. And that would strengthen the current regime. And they would no doubt engage in ground war against Israel at that point. Quite likely with success."
"Starting a war is easy. Ending it successfully is much more difficult."

It is not obvious that we can attack Iran and not have that be an act of war, that leads to military responses. It is not a strawman argument to point out that sometimes you bomb and it is a "Pearl Harbor" war beginning.

If we bomb Iran, it is very likely to lead to Iran attacking neighboring countries. And it locks in future Iranian hostility, while a negotiation eases it.
 
  • #63
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Sure, but you implied that war was the first/most likely option if no deal was reached. Obama is largely responsible for creating that deal-or-war dichotomy, but it is nonsense:

https://www.weeklystandard.com/blog...-iran-deal-doesnt-pass-laugh-test_992618.html

But this is Obama we're talking about. He's Commander in Chief of the military, not Congress. I can't imagine anyone actually believes he would attack Iran in any capacity, and as little as six weeks ago was essentially saying there was no military option on the table (as, my recollection is, that has always been his position):

The reason the deal smells bad to me is mostly because of the way Obama went about it. He threatened the US with war to coerce us to accept the deal instead of threatening Iran with war to coerce them to accept the deal!

This is related to his claim in April that a deal had been reached, which was a flat lie, and a pointless/counterproductive one in my opinion. Since he's not running for re-election, he doesn't need to win shouting matches with Republicans - he shouldn't care if they were criticizing him for his failure to reach a deal. All that lie did was back himself into a corner where he had to acquiesce to Iran's demands to avoid the lie becoming permanent. Again: he'd rather win a meaningless battle with Republicans than an important one with Iran. Much of this is paraphrase/summary from here:
http://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2015/04/the-tectonic-shift-in-obamas-iran-policy/

I don't see why that is confusing -- we're trying to discuss whether the deal is good or bad and to do that, we have to consider what would have happened if no deal had been reached. Heck, you made the argument, I just challenged your assumption about what the primary alternative was.

The default "option" is essentially always maintaing the status quo if no deal is reached (decision on change is made). The decisions to make a change from status quo are nearly always separate decisions: Deal or status quo? War or status quo? Not "deal or war?".

Of course. But this discussion is about whether we like that policy and in order to judge whether we like it, we need to consider the alternatives.
As long as they are realistic alternatives, I have no problem with that. I don't see much going on in the media other than republican complaining that President Obama is the President. I agree that he has used politics and pressure and every other tool to implement his foreign policies. That is GOOD not bad. I've seen a lot of Presidents in my life and what they do is implement foreign policy. That really is how it is done, and how it is supposed to be done.

If you don't like the President, it is easy to criticize the deal. If you have a particularly strong interest in this particular issue, you may disagree with the President on this lone issue. The majority of opinions I see from republicans are overwhelmingly negative. I've seen the standard comparison to "Neville Chamberlain". Which is somewhat funny, because I agree with you, that the President pushed this in an effective way, and I disagree with you, that it is most likely to lead to a better future, with a non-nuclear Iran.

I am not certain why it bothers you that the President is forced to coerce the republican Congress. Generally, that is a sign of effectiveness when a President accomplishes things while saddled with a hostile Congress. How he went about it seems to have led directly to the outcomes he wanted.

There is no predicting if this deal WILL lead to a non-nuclear Iran. It should put the Iranian nuclear plans on hold (it actually pushes them backwards), and give us an early warning on any re-start. If they change the national goal of getting nukes then the deal is a success.

If it turns out they are merely lying to get some cash, then the problem will of course remain.
 
  • #64
mheslep
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Which much stringent (Western) sanctions you mean? Especially if you dislike just "piece of paper" how would you curb their trade potential with ex. China?
Current US sanctions regime is CISADA (2010), summarized here by FAS, page 16. Wherever the current sanctions prohibit most imports from or most exports to Iran, there is room for further restriction. In particular there is a list made by the President that freezes assets of particular individuals touched by the US banking system. That list can always be expanded and needs no blessing by other countries. The current sanction regime obviously had zero dependence on any paper agreement with Iran, unlike the current Iranian agreement.
 
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  • #65
mheslep
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I would likely have supported a short bombing campaign as well. But that's not war, IMO.
I might have as well, but I dislike the notion of coming up with some euphemism for the use of violence against another country even if sharply limited to a couple of days. Even a short bombing campaign is going to kill some people, and includes the risk of getting some US pilots killed. The commander in chief, when deciding the action is necessary, ought to say as much. Calling it a war does this; calling it something else allows us all to pretend otherwise.
 
  • #66
mheslep
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(it actually pushes them backwards),
No, we hope that the agreement will. In this discussion you have periodically walked back and forth across the line of mislabeling the agreement as deed instead of word. The agreement "stops" the nuclear program, it "actually pushes them backwards". That difference is the basis of the critique of the President's Iranian deal.
 
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As long as they are realistic alternatives, I have no problem with that. I don't see much going on in the media other than republican complaining that President Obama is the President. I agree that he has used politics and pressure and every other tool to implement his foreign policies. That is GOOD not bad. I've seen a lot of Presidents in my life and what they do is implement foreign policy. That really is how it is done, and how it is supposed to be done.

If you don't like the President, it is easy to criticize the deal. If you have a particularly strong interest in this particular issue, you may disagree with the President on this lone issue. The majority of opinions I see from republicans are overwhelmingly negative. I've seen the standard comparison to "Neville Chamberlain". Which is somewhat funny, because I agree with you, that the President pushed this in an effective way, and I disagree with you, that it is most likely to lead to a better future, with a non-nuclear Iran.

I am not certain why it bothers you that the President is forced to coerce the republican Congress. Generally, that is a sign of effectiveness when a President accomplishes things while saddled with a hostile Congress. How he went about it seems to have led directly to the outcomes he wanted.

There is no predicting if this deal WILL lead to a non-nuclear Iran. It should put the Iranian nuclear plans on hold (it actually pushes them backwards), and give us an early warning on any re-start. If they change the national goal of getting nukes then the deal is a success.

If it turns out they are merely lying to get some cash, then the problem will of course remain.
I don't have as much faith as you in 'the President' be him Bush jr or Obama. Presidents can be and have been incompetent. We've had two duds in a row.
 
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Current US sanctions regime is CISADA (2010), summarized here by FAS, page 16. Wherever the current sanctions prohibit most imports from or most exports to Iran, there is room for further restriction. In particular there is a list made by the President that freezes assets of particular individuals touched by the US banking system. That list can always be expanded and needs no blessing by other countries. The current sanction regime obviously had zero dependence on any paper agreement with Iran, unlike the current Iranian agreement.
My point is that the US has limited ability to make its sanction harsher if it imports from Iran is already 0, while it exports goods worth something like 200 mln dollars. Moving it to zero too would not seriously affect Iran, as it main business partners are United Arab Emirates, China, India, Japan, S. Korea.

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5070.html
 
  • #69
mheslep
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My point is that the US has limited ability to make its sanction harsher if it imports from Iran is already 0, while it exports goods worth something like 200 mln dollars. Moving it to zero too would not seriously affect Iran, as it main business partners are United Arab Emirates, China, India, Japan, S. Korea.

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5070.html
All US action has its limits, including military. Some exports are difficult to get elsewhere. And then there are additional financial asset freezes. As far as I can tell US action in that regard requires no blessing from other nations.
 
  • #70
verybadman
hi
In case of misunderstanding, I'm not supporting iran's regime. I'm just curious to know.
Is there any evidence that iran is supporting terrorism or has connections to terrorist organizations like ISIS?
or is it just for iran's threats of destroying israel?

sorry if there is a lot of grammatical mistakes.
 
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  • #71
russ_watters
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hi
In case of misunderstanding, I'm not supporting iran's regime. I'm just curious to know.
Is there any evidence that iran is supporting terrorism or has connections to terrorist organizations like ISIS?
That's a very broad question. The short answer is yes, but I'd start with the wiki on the subject and go from there:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_state-sponsored_terrorism
or is it just for iran's threats of destroying israel?
I'm not sure of the official line, but I would tend to consider that a separate issue. It can be grey though.
 
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... has connections to terrorist organizations like ISIS?
Iran has very strong connections to Hezbollah, which is classified as a terrorist group in most countries. They also had ties to Hamas prior to the Syrian civil war. On the other hand they are heavily involved in the war against ISIS, either via Hezbollah in Syria or Iraqi Shia militias in Iraq.
 
  • #73
Astronuc
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or is it just for iran's threats of destroying israel?
There is certainly evidence that Iran has provided material support to Hezbollah and Hamas who are devoted to the destruction of Israel.

Iran and Hezbollah
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/07/us-lebanon-hezbollah-idUSTRE81629H20120207
http://www.cfr.org/lebanon/hezbollah-k-hizbollah-hizbullah/p9155
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funding_of_Hezbollah

Iran and Hamas
http://www.economist.com/node/12959539
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100211788 - back in 2009
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/21/iran-supplied-hamas-missile-technology - 2012


Back in March, CSIS hosted a debate on Iran and it's nuclear program - If Failure in Iran, Then What?
 
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  • #74
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I'm just curious to know.
Is there any evidence that iran is supporting terrorism or has connections to terrorist organizations like ISIS?
yes, for sure, as posted, but Shiite Iran does NOT support Sunni ISIS. Many SUNNI and SHIA are enemies. Leadership of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are SUNNI and oppose Shite IRAN. Shiites [SHIA] and SUNNI have been bitter enemies for years ever since the Shia split from the 'true' faith several thousand years ago.

The only thing I can think of where they cooperate is setting cartel prices: OPEC oil.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are among SUNNI countries that will want nuclear weapons if Iran gets close to having them, and especially if they doubt US will support them. They are very doubtful of US support under the current Administration. Say hello to 'nuclear proliferation'?? Will it be Obama's legacy??
 

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