Obama has mused, “I’ve never understood the logic that says because there may be issues that we have to deal with 15 years from now, we should reject a deal that ensures us for 15 years not having a nuclear weaponized Iran.”
Yet as a result of his deal, Iran will be undoubtedly in a stronger position in 15 years. It will transition from an economy that was on the brink of collapse due to crippling sanctions, to one that will have been freed of sanctions and thus much more robust. Once sanctions are lifted, European companies can start doing business in Iran, meaning that over time they’d build up more ties to the nation and they’d be lobbying their governments against any new sanctions. Due to the lifting of the arms embargoes, Iran will be able to obtain more sophisticated conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. And the U.S. and its allies would be working with Iran to protect its nuclear facilities against the threat of sabotage from traditional U.S. allies such as Israel.
Even in a best-case scenario in which the deal “works” Iran will have benefitted from decades of running an illicit nuclear program, by pocketing short-term economic and military gains, and still preserving its long-term ability to build nuclear bombs. This will provide an incentive for other bad actors to pursue a similar path, as well as encourage nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan to demand similar leniency.
“My fear is that, it’s not that it’s President Obama’s deal or war,” Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Washington Examiner, referring to one of Obama’s favorite talking points. “I think it’s going to be Obama’s deal and war. And when that war comes, Iran will be stronger and the consequences [of military action] are going to be much more severe.”