April 08, 2015

What's the alternative to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran?

By Eliot Cohen

Benjamin Netanyahu insists that opposing Thursday’s framework nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t mean he wants war. “There’s a third alternative,” the Israeli prime minister told CNN on Sunday, “and that is standing firm, ratcheting up the pressure until you get a better deal.”

There are three problems with this argument. The first is that even some of Netanyahu’s own ideological allies don’t buy it. Netanyahu and many Republican politicians—knowing that the American public doesn’t want war—insist that there’s a diplomatic alternative to the current deal. But over the years, key conservative foreign-policy experts have said exactly the opposite. Eliot Cohen, a former Bush administration official who teaches at John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, has written that, “The choices are now what they ever were: an American or an Israeli strike, which would probably cause a substantial war, or living in a world with Iranian nuclear weapons, which may also result in war, perhaps nuclear, over a longer period of time. Understandably, the U.S. government has hoped for a middle course of sanctions, negotiations and bargaining that would remove the problem without the ugly consequences. This is self-delusion.”

Read the full article at Haaretz.

  • Eliot Cohen

    Adjunct Senior Fellow

    Dr. Eliot Cohen is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the Robert E. Osgood Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School ...