,

Debunking Three Myths About the Iran Deal

We weren’t able to stop the Iraq war — but we do have a chance to prevent war with Iran. But it’s going to take a real fight. There’s $40 million and counting in war-mongering money pouring in to spread misinformation about the Iran Deal. But we can fight back to stop war if we know the facts. To start, here’s a debunking of three myths about the Iran Deal.

Myth #1: This deal will let Iran develop a nuclear bomb

This entire deal is about just one thing: STOPPING Iran from creating a nuclear bomb.

The deal requires Iran to physically destroy most of the infrastructure they’ve built up for the last ten years. And it blocks both ways that a nuclear bomb can be developed — with highly enriched uranium, or with plutonium. MoveOn.org’s Ben Wikler breaks it down:

Uranium path: blocked. Iran will eliminate 98% of its enriched uranium stockpile and half of its centrifuges currently used for enrichment. Going forward, it will only enrich uranium to 3.67%, enough for nuclear power but far short of the 90% needed for weapons.

Plutonium path: blocked. Without a deal, Iran could use its heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak to make enough weapons-grade plutonium for a bomb. Under the deal, it must rip out and destroy that reactor’s original core, redesign the plant so it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium, and ship spent fuel rods out of the country.

And what if Iran tries to build a bomb in secret? That’s where inspections come in. There will be on-site inspections for declared nuclear facilities. And there will by inspections with 24 days notice on non-declared sites. Could Iran hide nuclear weapons activity with 24 days notice? Absolutely not.

J Street, a nonprofit that calls itself the “political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement,” writes:

“The United States and our partners turned to the best non-partisan, independent nuclear scientists and experts to confirm this very fact before they signed the deal. The experts agreed that it would be impossible to conceal a weapons program in 24 days.

Due to uranium’s half-life of millions of years, it can take from 6 months to several years to “clean” a facility where nuclear activity has taken place. James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment stated, “It’s impossible to sanitize a nuclear facility [in 24 days]. And when inspectors got there after 24 days, there would unquestionably still be evidence of… nuclear material.” Gary Samore​, executive director for research at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs said that 24 days would not be enough time to hide evidence of the uranium enrichment facilities Iran would need to create the fissile material required for a bomb.”

Myth #2: Countries are giving Iran Money in this deal

You may have seen some on social media decrying that countries will by “giving” Iran billions if this deal goes through. That’s just false.

Iran doesn’t get anyone else’s money as a result of this deal — they simply get access BACK to their OWN MONEY that was previously frozen due to economic sanctions. These frozen assets are valued at $100 billion, but U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew estimates that Iran will only have easy access to about $50 billion initially.

If you’re wondering why Iran is agreeing to destroy its nuclear plan, it’s because of these agreements to lift sanctions and allow their assets to be unfrozen, and their oil export program to expand. Without the lifting of sanctions, there’s no deal.

Myth #3: A better deal is possible

There is no “better deal.” The alternative to this deal is war.

This deal was negotiated between Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany and the European Union. One of the conditions of the deal is that the United States lifts its economic sanctions against Iran. If Congress votes to overturn the deal, the U.S. won’t lift sanctions, and the deal will fail, and Iran will refuse to come back to the negotiating table.

Former Senators Carl Levin and John Warner, who both served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also support the deal, and point out why even hawks should support it, too:

“Rejecting the Iran deal would erode the current deterrent value of the military option, making it more likely Iran might choose to pursue a nuclear weapon,and would then make it more costly for the U.S. to mount any subsequent military operation. It would tie the hands of any future president trying to build international participation and support for military force against Iran should that be necessary.”

 

JStreet also points out that this deal has been years in the making, and has involved far more countries than just the U.S. and Iran. Rejecting it now will mean the U.S. torpedoes years of joint effort:

“The deal has been finalized and endorsed by the entire UN Security Council. If Congress rejects the deal, we will be blamed, not Iran. China, Russia and other countries would resume their business with Iran, collapsing the tough sanctions regime, while Iran could kick out inspectors and resume concerning activities, paving the way for it to develop a bomb. There’s no “better deal” — just a far worse reality if Congress undercuts the administration and our negotiating partners.”

What can I do to urge support of the deal?

The first thing you can do is sign this petition, which calls on New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the only Democratic senator thus far to oppose the deal, not to lead the Democrats to war.

Congress has until mid-Setember to vote to overturn the deal. MoveOn.org has provided a list of the key Democrats whose support is needed to ensure the deal goes through. Since it’s August, members of Congress are home in their districts, holding town halls. One of the best things you can do is attend a town hall and urge your member of Congress to support the deal.

The Council for a Livable World has also prepared a list of all the Democrats in Congress and what their position is on the deal that you can check to see where your member of Congress is on avoiding another war.

Finally, you can spread the word by sharing this blog post on social media!

We couldn’t stop war in Iraq. But together, we can prevent a war with Iran.