WASHINGTON — The new treaty on nuclear issues with Iran is drawing praise from nuclear experts and watchdogs, despite concerns from members of Congress that the agreement puts US and Israeli national security at risk.
Substantively, a general consensus quickly emerged following the July 14 unveiling of the agreement that the deal is as close to a best-case situation as reality would allow.
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, believes “the deal is excellent compared to where we are today.”
“It puts a gap between [Iran’s] ability to build a bomb and actually doing it, and the gap is big enough for us to do something about it if we detect them moving toward a bomb,” Lewis said. “At the highest macro level, I think that’s fantastic.”
As to critics who say a better deal should have been reached, Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, puts it in simple terms: “A perfect deal was not attainable.
“Overall, it’s a very strong and good deal, but it wasn’t negotiations that resulted in a score of 100-0 for the US,” Reif said. “That’s not how international negotiations go.”
Added James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment: “You can’t compare this to a perfect deal, which was never attainable.”