WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2015 — Best-selling author and Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz recently joined me on my radio program, “The Price of Business, “to discuss his latest book, “The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Stop Iran from Getting Nukes?”
Dershowitz, who has long been close to the seats of power in the U.S. and in Israel, unleashed a scathing attack on the Obama administration for its naive decision to pursue such a deal.
He argues that decades of isolation have worked well at preventing Iran from getting nuclear bombs. He maintains that the sanction regime is more affordable than the billions Iran’s government will receive through the nuclear deal.
I asked, “is not the only thing that has stood between Iran and nuclear weapons money, and doesn’t this agreement make obtaining the money a reality for it?”
He answered, “absolutely,” explaining that the status quo is much better than entering into another agreement with a nation with a history of violating agreements. In fact, Iran has violated 20 agreements with the West so far; there is no reason to believe it will improve its record going forward. He added that, within the parameters established by this deal, Iran may not have to cheat. Certain areas in Iran are off limits to inspectors, and to visit them requires weeks of notification. Iran can simply play a shell game of moving material and technology around the country, potentially allowing it to develop nuclear arms before the ink on the deal is dry.
Dershowitz points out that the government of Iran believes that Israel would not exist or continue to exist if it were not for the United States. That is why Muslim extremists describe Israel as the “little Satan” and the United States as the “big Satan.” If you remove the U.S. — “big Satan” — from the picture, there is no problem with Israel; it cannot exist in such a dangerous world without the United States.
Dershowitz says that the safety of the U.S. hangs in the balance. I pointed out that roughly half of the world’s Jewish population is in Israel and half is in the U.S. Remove Israel — which would certainly be an objective of a nuclear weapons program, based on Iran’s historical rhetoric — and the new target would be the U.S. itself. He agreed and said that the safety of the United States and much of the world is linked to the survival of Israel.
I asked what Israel will do if this deal goes into effect. He says that Israel is not as shortsighted as the U.S. and is ready to do anything necessary to protect itself. That includes an Israeli attack on Iran before the Islamic nation can build a bomb. When asked why they would do that, he said, “I have known these leaders (including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) for decades,” and there is no way they would stand by and allow Iran to create the means to wipe out Israel. Israel remembers that 6 million Jews were wiped out in recent history; it has no intention of allowing that to happen again.
Dershowitz argues that policy makers have bought into a “bill of goods” that says, “Any deal is better than no deal.” History, Iran’s goal to obtain a nuclear arsenal, and simple common sense shows decisively that this deal makes the U.S. and the rest of the world decidedly less safe.