As Conservative Media Trash Iran Deal, Nuclear Experts And Former Military Endorse It As "Strong" And "Effective"

As Conservative Media Trash Iran Deal, Nuclear Experts And Former Military Endorse It As "Strong" And "Effective"

››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN

A growing consensus of nuclear and national security experts are endorsing the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, calling it "a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts" and demolishing conservative media's sustained attacks on the deal.

Nuclear And Military Experts Release Statements Endorsing The Iran Nuclear Deal

Arms Control Association: Iran Nuclear Deal Is "Strong, Long-Term, And Verifiable." On August 17 the nonpartisan Arms Control Association released a statement from nuclear nonproliferation specialists backing the Iran nuclear deal and calling it "a net-plus for nonproliferation." The statement, which was endorsed by 75 experts, called the agreement "strong, long-term, and verifiable" and noted that it "advances the security interests" of the United States and its allies:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts.

It advances the security interests of the P5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, their allies and partners in the Middle East, and the international community.

[...]

If all sides comply with and faithfully implement their multi-year obligations, the agreement will reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region - giving time and space to address other regional problems without fear of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons--and head off a catastrophic military conflict over Iran's nuclear program.

Though all of us could find ways to improve the text, we believe the JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives and see no realistic prospect for a better nuclear agreement.

We urge the leaders of the P5+1 states, the European Union, and Iran to take the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the JCPOA. [Arms Control Association, 8/17/15]

Retired Military Leaders: Iran Nuclear Deal Is "The Most Effective Means Currently Available" To Ensure Iran Doesn't Get a Nuclear Weapon.  A group of retired U.S. military generals and admirals voiced their support for the nuclear deal with Iran in an August 11 open letter, writing that they "support the agreement as the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons":

The international deal blocks the potential pathways to a nuclear bomb, provides for intrusive verification, and strengthens American national security. America and our allies, in the Middle East and around the world, will be safer when this agreement is fully implemented. It is not based on trust; the deal requires verification and tough sanctions for failure to comply.

There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is fully implemented. If the Iranians cheat, our advanced technology, intelligence and the inspections will reveal it, and U.S. military options remain on the table. And if the deal is rejected by America, the Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. The choice is that stark.

[...]

If at some point it becomes necessary to consider military action against Iran, gathering sufficient international support for such an effort would only be possible if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance. We must exhaust diplomatic options before moving to military ones.

For these reasons, for the security of our Nation, we call upon Congress and the American people to support this agreement. [Washington Post8/11/15]

But Conservative Media Continue To Wage A Campaign To Attack The Nuclear Deal

Fox's KT McFarland: Iran Will "Very Likely" Expand Weapons Programs After Nuclear Deal. On the August 17 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland speculated about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East if the Iran deal went through, asserting that although "everything's preventable ... that's a part of the world that could see a nuclear explosion": 

HEMMER: So you've been talking about this for a long time. Is he right when he says a nuclear holocaust is inevitable if Iran goes nuclear?

MCFARLAND: Nothing's inevitable, and everything's preventable. But this Iran getting its hands on nuclear weapons and an Iran that talks about annihilating Israel, death to America, other countries in the region responding by getting nuclear weapons programs of their own. If nuclear weapons are awash in the Middle East, I think it's only a matter of time before somebody uses one. Accidentally, inadvertently, or intentionally, but that's a part of the world that could see a nuclear explosion. [Fox News, America's Newsroom8/17/15]

Fox's Eric Bolling: Dropping Sanctions And Implementing Deal Is Cutting "A Deal With The Devil." On the July 14 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-hosts Dana Perino, Eric Bolling, and Kimberly Guilfoyle argued that the Iran deal's "snap sanctions" would not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Bolling likened the deal to "a deal with the devil," and dismissed the fact that allowing the deal to fall through would collapse the international sanctions regime:

PERINO: I want to ask you about the sanctions piece because one of the deals going up to this moment was that there might be snap sanctions so that if Iran doesn't hold up its end of the deal, that all of the sudden these world powers would be willing to put the sanctions back on. I think we have to be clear. That is never going to happen.

[...]

BOLLING: There's also another thing in play here. So there's a group of nations that have decided to do this deal with Iran, right? Now I know why China's doing the deal -- they want to do the deal because they want to buy Iranian oil. They need oil, they don't produce any, they need a lot of oil, that's more oil for them. I know why Russia is doing it -- because they want to sell Iran arms. That's what they do -- they sell arms, and Iran is -- was one of their biggest arms clients. And I know why the E.U. also wants to do it -- because they also want a combination of -- to  be able to deal with Iran in financial arenas, but they also want the oil as well. What do we get out of it? We don't need their oil. We are on our path to being self-sufficient with oil. We don't need any of that. What do we get?

[...]

WILLIAMS: Look, what would you say then, Greg? More sanctions?

BOLLING: Yes.

GUTFELD: Sure.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Oh, more sanctions to what end?

BOLLING: It is working.

WILLIAMS: Guess what, and your point was those Europeans, those Chinese, those Russians, no -- those sanctions would unravel.

BOLLING: All right, Juan. So let them deal with them. Let them cut a deal with the devil. [Fox News, The Five, 7/14/15]

Fox Analyst Ed Rollins: U.S. Must "Kill This Deal." On the August 2 edition of Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, Fox News political analyst Ed Rollins argued that the U.S. must "kill this deal," due to the deal's sanction relief, saying "the issue is the money and what they do with the money [more so] than just the nuclear weapon":

ROLLINS: It's becoming more and more clear that the issue is the money and what they do with the money than just the nuclear weapon. Everybody's talked about the nuclear weapon, Khomeini has a new book, the Supreme Commander, called Palestine in which he basically said the nuclear weapon is to keep Israel from doing anything back to them, that they're going to take Israel out by the war of attrition, by Hezbollah, Hamas, what have you. And I think that's  very accurate. So, we put sanctions on initially when they kidnapped and took over our embassy in 1978. So I think the reality is -- I don't care where our friends go. I think America has to take a stand here, and it's very, very important that we basically kill this deal. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures8/2/15]

Fox Guest Rudy Giuliani: Sanction Relief In Iran Deal "Is A Recipe For War, As Opposed To The Opposite." The August 5 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom hosted former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani to criticize the Iran deal's sanction relief. Giuliani declared the deal "is a recipe for war as opposed to the opposite," because it puts "billions of dollars" into Iran's hands.

GIULIANI: I mean, the question is, this has to get evaluated on the merits of is it a good deal or a bad deal. It's a very, very bad deal because we are putting hundreds of millions and billions of dollars into the hands of a man who wants to destroy the state of Israel, wants to destroy the United States, has become and is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world. The deal makes no sense to me. To put billions of dollars in the hands of a man who wants to commit murder is, to me, highly irresponsible. Secondly, why the president trusts the Ayatollah to keep any of the commitments in the deal that he supposedly made indicates the president is being naive. This is a recipe for war, as opposed to the opposite. [Fox News, America's Newsroom8/5/15]

Steve Doocy: "The More You Dig Into [The Iran Deal], The Scarier It Is." On the July 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy fearmongered over the newly announced Iran deal saying, "The more you dig into it, the scarier it is." [Fox News, Fox & Friends7/15/15]

Rush Limbaugh: Obama Sold Out America To Iran With Nuclear Deal.  On the July 14 edition of Premiere Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh argued that while it may be unthinkable that Obama would "sell the United States out to the Iranians," that's what had happened:

LIMBAUGH: Now, I know a lot of you are hoping against hope that the things you've heard about this that are bad for America are not true. I know you're hoping that some of the analysis of the deal that you may have seen or heard, that describes how really bad it is, is just maybe a little partisan, really isn't true. Because no matter what else Obama has done, and his party, no matter what else they have done with domestic policy, surely, you're saying to yourself, they would not sell the United States out to the Iranians. You want to hold on to that, I understand it.

You want to grasp that, embrace that, and you really don't want to believe -- some of you -- really don't want to believe that what's happened here has happened. But it has, folks. There isn't a mushy middle on this. It's bad. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show7/14/15]

Lou Dobbs: U.S. Has "Surrendered" Its "Immense Strength" By Making  Deal With Iran.  On the July 14 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said the Iran deal is a complete "capitulation":  

DOBBS: We have immense strength, and we have immense control over our destiny. We have simply surrendered that advantage, in favor of what? A sponsor -- the world's largest sponsor of state terrorism and emerging -- and now, with the assistance of this deal -- a certain to-be nuclear power. It is stunning. [Fox News, America's Newsroom7/14/15]

Sean Hannity: Will Announcement Of Iran Deal Be "A Day That Will Live In Infamy?" On the July 14 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Sean Hannity hosted former Vice President Dick Cheney to lambaste the Iran nuclear deal, asking him whether the day of the announcement is "a day that will live in infamy." Hannity later said, "I guess you could really put the Obama seal on these nuclear weapons, because I think now it's pretty much inevitable." [Fox News, Hannity7/15/15]

Mark Levin: Iran Nuclear Deal "Planted The Seeds Of World War III." On the July 14 edition of Fox New's Hannity, radio host Mark Levin said the Iran nuclear deal "sealed the fate" of the world and "planted the seeds of World War III":

LEVIN: My reaction is that Barack Obama has now planted the seeds of world war III. And one day world war III is going to break out right here because of his actions today. To arm up the Iranian regime, this terrorist regime in Tehran, you know, Obama likes to say that Reagan and Kennedy negotiated with the Soviets. The Soviets had nukes. Iran does not have nukes. But thanks to him and Kerry and the other ideologues and lightweights that surround him, they're going to get nukes. And this is where World War III, in my view, is going to start. He has sealed the fate -- the adults who are listening to this program, your children and grandchildren, he has made this world so much more dangerous as a result of what he has done. These inspections are phony. There are no real sanctions. The Iranians can't be trusted. They have demonstrated that  time and time again no less than the United Nations has told us. The Russians and Chinese are thrilled by this because we'll be bogged down for decades. This is a complete disaster. [Fox News, Hannity7/15/15]

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