Sheffey: Opposing Iran Deal Endangers US and Israeli Security

Writing in The Hill today, Steve Sheffey discusses why contrary to what many would have you believe, opposing the Iran nuclear agreement actually puts Israel's security in harm's way. Sheffey writes:

Israel has a tremendous stake in this debate, but there is no one "pro-Israel" position on this issue. Between the existential threat to Israel posed by Iran and six years of anti-Obama propaganda from Israel's government, Israelis would be skeptical of any deal, especially one brokered by this administration. But Israel confronts the same question we confront: Is there a better, realistic alternative?

We can endlessly debate how we got to this point, whose fault it is and whether we could have gotten a better deal. It doesn't matter. The pie-in-the-sky deal that would last forever, completely dismantle Iran's nuclear infrastructure and allow anywhere, anytime inspections is a deal Iran would never agree to and that our allies think is unreasonable and unnecessary.

After 19 months of negotiations between Russia, China, the United States, our European allies and Iran, we reached an agreement that verifiably blocks every pathway to an Iranian bomb. The only relevant question is whether we will be better off with or without the deal on the table.

The administration argues persuasively that if Congress blocks this deal, the international sanctions regime will unravel and Iran will get the economic benefits of the deal without subjecting itself to inspections and other limitations. Iran might restrain itself to get sanctions relief from the rest of the world, or — arguing correctly that it was the United States, not Iran, that walked away from the deal — Iran might kick out the inspectors and proceed with its nuclear program, leaving us no choice but war or a nuclear Iran. War would at best set back Iran's program a few years, far less than the 15 years of the agreement.

The agreement is not perfect, but opponents of the deal have yet to offer a better alternative or to even explain how they will keep everything from falling apart the day after Congress blocks the deal. Even if Iran tries to resume its nuclear program after 15 years, Iran will be further from breakout than it is today, and as a result of intrusive inspections, we will be in a much better position to stop Iran then than we are today...

It is because I love Israel and America that I support this deal. Others who love Israel and America may disagree. But until we hear a realistic, better alternative to this deal ("negotiate a better deal" is a wish, not an alternative) and a step-by-step explanation of how we will prevent everything from unraveling after Congress blocks this deal, we would be recklessly endangering our and Israel's security by opposing this deal.

You can read Sheffey's entire piece at The Hill here. You can also sign up for Sheffey's Pro-Israel Political Updates here.