The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iranian nuclear deal is formally known, halts Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon by limiting the amount of low-enriched uranium it produces, and reducing its output of weapon-grade plutonium at its heavy-water reactor. Iran’s nuclear facilities are also subject to rigorous inspection and verification. The JCPOA also lifted economic sanctions on Tehran and released billions of dollars in frozen assets.

An article by Bob Feferman, the Outreach Coordinator at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and Matan Shamir, the Executive Director, responds to Peter Beinart’s claims that ‘duped’ the public by hyping the threat posed by the Iran nuclear deal.

They write that, “A revitalized Iran has utilized its resurgent power to further its designs for regional dominance and its ongoing aggression in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, as well as against Israel. Tehran is now also brazenly testing long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and threatening U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, having notoriously detained 10 American sailors at gunpoint last year in violation of international law.”

According to Feferman and Shamir, “The most glaring flaw of the JCPOA, though, is that it will provide Iran a clear pathway to nuclear weapons as restrictions on its uranium – enrichment and plutonium-processing capacities lift over the next 10 to 15 years. Iran has made clear that at that time it will expand its nuclear program to an industrial scale and introduce advanced centrifuges, allowing Tehran to reduce its ‘breakout’ time to produce sufficient weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon to only a matter of weeks, if not days. If such an effort can even be readily detected, the only way to prevent it would be a military strike.”

They point out that a bipartisan majority in Congress opposed the enactment of the JCPOA. However, despite this opposition, the nuclear deal was agreed upon and signed by the US and six other countries.  But, the same voices who originally opposed it, now seek to more stringently enforce it and reduce Iran’s regional aggression.

“So, no, Netanyahu didn’t dupe anyone,” Feferman and Shamir say, “Thoughtful people have long recognized the dangers inherent in the nuclear deal — none of which have been attenuated a year into implementation — without needing to parrot Netanyahu’s own talking points.”

In conclusion, they invited Peter Beinart to join them “in recognizing the dangers of the nuclear deal and finding solutions to enduringly prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.”