Kaveh Mousavi (the pseudonym of an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran) has an excellent piece at patheos.com, “Lies of the Opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Debunked.” Kaveh is justifiably proud of this piece, and asked that it be shared as widely as possible. The histrionics of those opposed to this deal are quite extraordinary, and, frankly despicable. It is also worth remembering that these are (generically) the same people who manufactured the lies that led to the catastrophic Iraq invasion.
Because Kaveh did such an excellent job both in documenting his arguments, analyzing the appropriate texts, and then logically reasoning from these data to his conclusions, his article is the sort of thing that I like promoting here at Quantum. Rather than repeating his argument wholesale, I will merely highlight Kaveh’s major themes and then encourage everyone to read Kaveh’s article at the links given above. (For purposes of brevity in what follows, will often refer to the new Iran Nuclear Treaty simply as the “Deal.”)
Kaveh identifies 8 principle falsehoods advanced by the conservative critics of the deal. Kaveh does not hesitate to denounce these falsehoods as outright lies, and has received some criticism for the use of such strong language. Perhaps, for purposes of logical completeness, Kaveh should have said that these critics were either liars, or galactically obtuse. But given the detail of Kaveh’s documentation and the care of his argument, it is clear that the critics are either liars or fools, or some combination of both. For my part, I will stick my neck out and say the critics are all conservatives. If any genuinely left-wing critics of the deal can be found, I will accept correction on that statement.
I will proceed by simply listing the 8 principle lies, and then briefly glossing the reasons why they are false. Again, the details can be found in the link above.
1. Iran will be able to have nuclear bombs after a decade.
No, because the limits imposed by the deal do not run out until after 15 years, after which time Iran joins the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) under the “Additional Protocol” of the inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”). This will actually expand the level and comprehensiveness of the inspection protocol beyond the already extremely rigorous levels imposed by the Deal.
2. The inspections are not intensive enough.
Quite the contrary, the IAEA’s inspection privileges are far greater than they had been in the past. Moreover, should the IAEA even become suspicious of a site that Iran does not wish to have inspected (because it is not on the stipulated list of sites), then the controversy, if left unresolved, is presented to a commission – the overwhelming membership of which is comprised of the United States and Europe – for a decision. If the IAEA’s evidence is so thin that these members cannot be convinced, then it is unlikely that they have any real evidence.
3. This deal will lead into a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
This is one of those truly breath-takingly idiotic announcements one must endure when people have neither logic, nor principles, nor evidence, nor facts, to justify their position. Rather than cover any of the points that Kaveh mentions, I would simply note that any such nuclear arms race was already started and driven onward by Israel. Yet there was no weapons program in Iraq (despite the lies told about that country – more on that below), nor does Saudi Arabia have a bomb program in place. Insofar as Pakistan has a bomb/bomb program, that is and was in response to India.
4. Iran will use the money to fund terror.
Here, I can do no better than quote Kaveh:
Iran is not a country dedicated to funding terrorists. There are elements within the regime who do that. They did it before the sanctions. They did during the sanctions. They will do it after the sanctions too. Like their far-right religious extremist equivalents in Israel, these elements of the regime are also opposed to a nuclear deal. … Unlike what these opponents claim, the Revolutionary Guard was not impoverished by the sanctions, it was enriched by them. Lifting of sanctions will decrease their income. … Likewise, we know that the sanctions have enriched the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei too. … The lifting of sanction and the money freed by it will improve Iranian economy. It will make reformists more powerful.
(Emphasis added.) For myself, I would add that Iran was the only country in the Middle East where there was a spontaneous demonstration of support in sympathy with the United States after 9/11. This was a country moving toward reform in 2001 until George Bush made all such actions politically impossible with his despicable nonsense about the “axis of evil.”
5. Iranian people oppose the nuclear deal.
This is hands down one of the most singularly despicable claims made. The Iranian people overwhelmingly support the Deal. Is it really necessary to remind folks of the lies told by conservatives about how the Iraqi people would greet us as liberators? Do we really need to look that hard to notice how the one lie is so very much akin to the other?
6. All sanctions on Iran will be removed.
It is incomprehensible how anyone could be so obtuse as to believe such nonsense. The Deal specifically states which sanctions are to be removed. It also very specifically does not remove all of them.
7. Iran will be able to buy arms with no sanctions.
Again, the “no sanctions” remark is a blatant lie. Some arms purchase will be possible, a point which Iran was less concerned to have included in the Deal than Russia (who needs someone to sell arms to.) By the bye, this means Iran will be positioned to fight ISIL, for whom they’ve no particular regard.
8. If the deal wasn’t done, Iran would have abandoned its nuclear program completely.
There is, of course, not a particle of evidence or logic to support such a piece of childish wishful thinking. The sanctions had not harmed Iraq’s nuclear program and, as previously noted, had largely done nothing more than strengthen the position of the extremists in that country.
For my part, I’d like to add a little more about the Iranian people beyond just what was said in #’s 4 and 5 above.
I am scarcely an expert on Iran or its people, but I do know that our “deep history” with the country is beyond shameful. In 1953 we were extremely instrumental in the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected leader of the country, which we followed up by installing the Shah, with his brutal SAVAK “intelligence” agency. When the Shah was finally deposed in 1979 and the Ayatollahs came to power, it was as if we could not understand why so many people in Iran disliked us – all we did was overthrow their government, steal their oil, and help torture their people!
The capacity of the Iranian people at times seems reminiscent of the Russians. Western estimates of Iranian casualties from the Iran-Iraq war conservatively place the number at over 262,000, less than half of whom were actually combatants. The United State was, of course, an enthusiastic backer of Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime in Iraq.
We – we Americans, we citizens of the United States – are not occupying the moral high ground here, and have no basis to complain about or condemn Iran. Everything we might point to as a sin on their part – the extremist Ayatollahs, the Revolutionary Guards – are things that we basically made and made important, by our brutal usurpation of the Iranian people’s own right to self-determination. Despite all of this, they – the Iranian people – have repeatedly shown a desire to move away from that extremism, as well as the ability to manifest that desire on their own, when they are allowed to do so. The Deal is a step in that direction.
Jane E. Schneider said:
Thanks for posting this link at the Zoo, Gary. I had wanted to do a lot more commentary on my post, but it was late and I had too much to say!
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Gary Herstein said:
Well, Kaveh spent a lot more time on his post than I spent on commenting upon it. I was happy to spread it around.
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