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Supporters’ Arguments in Favor of Iran Deal

July 30, 2015 (with later updates)

Broadly speaking, advocates for the nuclear agreement with Iran make one or more of the arguments listed below. Other than the first, they are all reasonable subjects for debate, made by thoughtful people, and deserve reasonable and thoughtful responses. I’m working on pulling together these responses, so please bear with me while I work through them.

  • Anyone who opposes this deal is an idiot and/or a warmonger. These ad-hominem attacks attempt to change the subject, from defending the virtues (or addressing the shortcomings) of the agreement itself to impugning the motives or character of those posing the challenge. I refuse to engage at this level.
  • It’s a good deal. (See detailed rebuttal here.)
  • It’s not a good deal, but it’s good enough to achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. (Rebuttal here.)
  • It’s not a good deal, and it may not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but it’s the best we could have done. (Rebuttal here.)
  • It’s not a good deal, it may not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, it may have been possible to get a better deal, but it’s now done, so we should accept it and move on. (Rebuttal here.)
  • It is not a good deal, but there is no alternative. (Rebuttal here.)
  • If we don’t accept the deal, the international sanctions will unravel, and Iran will march forward to obtaining nuclear weapons. (Rebuttal here.)
  • If we don’t accept the deal, we’re on a path to war. (Rebuttal here.)
  • Even if the deal only kicks the can down the road, it’s worthwhile to delay Iran’s nuclear program by 10 to 15 years. When the agreement expires, we will have all the same options available today, and can negotiate an extension or new deal. (Rebuttal here.)
  • It’s not such a big deal if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, they would never be stupid enough to use them anyway. (Rebuttal to come.)
  • It’s not such a big deal if Iran uses nuclear weapons, since Israel has a second-strike capability and will ultimately prevail. (Rebuttal to come.)

Watch this space for additional rejoinders….


Have I missed any key arguments? As always, I look forward to your feedback: Thoughts, additions, and rebuttals are welcome and actively solicited. Let me know!

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