, Salem, MA


December 3, 2013

Our view: Nuclear deal with Iran is no guarantee of peace

The idea that deals with rogue regimes bring peace rather than war is an old one, a ruse for which Western democracies have been particularly gullible. Last week’s agreement that promises to halt the Islamic Republic of Iran’s race for a nuclear bomb may be yet another example.

War is a nasty, brutal and bloody business, and nations ruled by the will of their people rightly will do all in their power to avoid it, even to the point of self-delusion. But history has shown that promises from madmen mean little and will not spare the world the consequences of their evil intent.

Iran has been led by Islamic fanatics since their revolution of the late 1970s. The election of a succession of civilian presidents — most recently replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Hassan Rouhani — means little. It is the clerics who rule.

Iran’s primary policy goals are two-fold: to become the focus of power in the Middle East and to achieve the destruction of Israel. To reach these goals, Iran hopes both to produce nuclear weapons and lift the Western sanctions that have crippled its economy.

The agreement reached last weekend between Iran and six world powers is a major step toward achieving those ends.

The negotiations in Geneva led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry produced a six-month deal between Iran, the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, Germany and China. The hope is that during the course of the short-term agreement, a long-term treaty can be achieved.

The deal centers on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium from its natural state to a more refined form capable of being used in a bomb. Iran agreed to a moratorium on enriching uranium beyond 5 percent — a level insufficient to produce a bomb. However, the great technological leap is the ability to enrich uranium at all. Moving from 5 percent to bomb-grade is simply a matter of more time.

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