Conservatives Trash Iran Deal Framework That Experts Call "A Very Convincing Agreement"

Conservatives Trash Iran Deal Framework That Experts Call "A Very Convincing Agreement"

››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON & LIBBY WATSON

Conservative media figures are lashing out against tentative framework for a historic deal on Iran's nuclear program as a "surrender to Tehran," -- ignoring the widespread approval among diplomats, foreign relations and nuclear weapons policy experts of the agreement between the United States and five other nations aimed at limiting Iranian nuclear ambitions.

U.S. And Iranian Officials Announce Framework For Tentative Nuclear Agreement

White House Announces Parameters Of A Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement. On April 2, President Obama announced the key parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program, which "reflect the significant progress that has been made" toward ensuring the continued pursuit of a peaceful nuclear program in Iran through a strategy of inspections for 25 years, limiting enrichment capacity for 10 years and reducing their nuclear stockpile by 97 percent. These parameters are meant to "form the foundation" of a final JCPOA to be written and agreed upon by June 30, 2015. [The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 4/2/15]

Experts Applaud Framework As "Strong," "Excellent"

Fmr. Secretary Of State Albright: It's "A Good Deal," Because It Has "Cut Off" Iran's Path To Nuclear Weapons Program. On the April 3 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called the framework "a good deal" that "meets our core objectives" because "it has cut off a way for Iran to develop a nuclear program." Albright stressed that by setting up an international inspection program and stalling Iranian uranium and plutonium enrichment processes, the deal "accomplished what was wanted."  [MSNBC, Morning Joe4/3/15]

Fmr. Ambassador Nicholas Burns: "We've Got The Entire World With Us... President Obama Has Done Very Well." Later on Morning Joe, former U.S. ambassador and Bush-era Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns applauded the nuclear framework as "a sensible step forward" toward reducing Iran as a nuclear threat. Burns also noted that "we've got the entire world with us" in pursuit of this nuclear framework and that "President Obama has done very well" to forge ahead with a process that stalled during the Bush administration. [MSNBC, Morning Joe4/3/15]

Council On Foreign Relations'  Michael Levi: Elements Of Deal "Surprisingly Strong."  Council on Foreign Relations fellow Michael Levi described the nuclear limits -- "particularly those on the Iranian supply chain" -- in the deal as "surprisingly strong and significant." [Council on Foreign Relations, 4/2/15]

Nuclear Proliferation Expert: If Final Deal Adheres To This Framework, It Will Be "Excellent." Aaron Stein, a nuclear proliferation and Middle East expert at the Royal United Services Institute, said that a final deal based on this introduced-framework would be "excellent," and that he would give it an "A" rating because of "the inspections and transparency." [Vox, 4/2/15]

Director Of East Asia Nonproliferation Center: Inspection Provisions "Amazing." Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at Middlebury's Monterey Institute of International Studies, told Vox that the deal's provision ensuring centrifuge factory inspections is "amazing." He added that the "'inspections and transparency on the rotors, and the bellows, and the uranium mines is more than I ever thought would be in this agreement.'" [Vox, 4/2/15]

Ploughshares President Joe Cirincione: "This Is A Very Convincing Agreement," Will Likely Find Broad Support. On the April 2 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Ploughshares Fund president and nuclear weapons policy expert Joe Cirincione said the current framework "is a very convincing agreement" and will likely "find broad support among national security professionals":

CIRICIONE: This deal is so sweeping, it is so stunning in its detail, that it's going to be very hard to resist it.

[...]

What's going to be critical to this is when the American military and security establishment weighs in. This is a very convincing agreement, and I think you're going to find broad support among national security professionals. [MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show4/2/15]

Conservative Media Ignore Experts, Immediately Attack The Deal

National Review: Nuclear Deal Is A "Surrender To Tehran." An April 2 editorial by National Review Online titled "Surrender to Tehran," claimed that President Obama "wanted a deal with Iran so badly" that he accepted "a truly awful bargain." The editorial went on claim that President Obama's "zeal for an agreement at any cost" forced the United States and its international partners to cave in to Iranian demands "on nearly every substantive point," and demanded that Congress "do everything it can to scuttle it." [National Review Online, 4/2/15]

Hannity Describes Deal As "Capitulation." On the April 2 edition of his Fox program, Hannity described the framework as "Munich 2." When Fox News correspondent James Rosen claimed that the US had "dialed back its original negotiating posture" during the negotiations, Hannity replied, "I think that's called capitulation." [Fox News, Hannity4/2/15]

Fox's Gutfeld: Obama Met Iranian Demands "On Bended Knee." On the April 2 edition of The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld claimed Iran had "forced" the US "to the table," and that President Obama's "longing for legacy" meant he had simply "figur[ed] out the other guy's needs" and met them "on bended knee." [Fox News, The Five4/2/15]  

Fox's Goldberg: Iran Deal Is "A Disaster And Terrible." On the April 2 edition of Special Report, Fox contributor Jonah Goldberg described the deal as "a disaster and terrible," arguing that while the deal was a political success for the president, "the actual substance of this is disastrous." [Fox News, Special Report4/2/15

Fox's Chafets Calls Iran Deal "Dangerous Step In Wrong Direction." In an opinion piece published at FoxNews.com, Fox contributor Zev Chafets slammed the deal as "a triumph of diplo-babble designed to conceal the real intentions of its framers" and a "dangerous step in the wrong direction." [FoxNews.com, 4/2/15]

Wash. Times' Wesley Pruden: "Everything About The So-Called Deal With Iran... Is A Lie." An April 2 op-ed by Washington Times columnist Wesley Pruden denounced the agreement framework, claiming "everything about the so-called deal with Iran, including the reputations of the men who negotiated it, is a lie." Pruden attacked Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama for "enabling" Iran to continue its pursuit of nuclear weapons while purposefully diminishing the power and influence of the United States. [The Washington Times4/2/15]

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