Through the Iran deal, the international community blocked all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, without firing a single shot.
But the deal did set off a fierce battle in Congress and over the airwaves.
Early on, J Street took a forceful stand in favor of the deal to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, advancing the security interests of the United States and Israel.
J Street, building off our extensive advocacy infrastructure and legislating relationships, ensured that members of Congress in key states understood that American Jews, as well as leading Israeli security experts, backed the Iran deal. A J Street advocacy campaign during the summer, alongside two major polls showing American Jewish support for the agreement, helped to advance efforts.
When it came time to vote, Congress failed to derail the agreement and, a year later, it is clear the Iran deal is working.
Nonetheless, opponents are still trying to sabotage the agreement. Misinformation abound about the deal and those who fought to protect it. Here you’ll find everything you need to know.
1) It’s not about trust. It’s about verification.
Opponents of this agreement say Iran will cheat their way to a nuclear weapon.
Not without us knowing in time to stop them. That’s why this deal is so important: by subjecting Iran to the most intrusive inspections regime in history, it leaves nothing to trust.
Inspections at all nuclear sites. 24/7/365 monitoring. Tracking every ounce of uranium. It all adds up to unprecedented assurance that Iran cannot cheat their way to a weapon undetected.
2) Iran’s past is bad. With no deal, the future is worse.
Opponents of this agreement say Iran must admit to all its past nuclear-weapons related research.
Yet it would be foolish to sacrifice knowing what Iran is doing now and in the future just to insist that it admit all it did wrong in past.
This deal ensures that we’ll know what Iran is up to now and going forward–and give us ample time to stop it–because Iran will be subject to the most intrusive inspections regime in history.
3) Limited sanctions relief came only when inspectors verified Iran’s compliance.
Opponents of the agreement say that it lifts sanctions on Iran in exchange for little or nothing but promises.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Sanctions only lifted when the international inspectors, part of the most intrusive program in history, verified that Iran had complyied with the deal.
And if Iran is found to be violating the agreement? Sanctions snap right back into place.
4) It’s a lasting end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Opponents of this agreement say it only lasts for 10 or 15 years.
They’re wrong: after rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, this deal keeps in place permanent enhanced inspections to prevent it from acquiring a bomb.
That’s a far better result than the mere two to four years experts say a military strike would set back Iran’s nuclear program.
5) It blocks every pathway to a bomb.
Opponents of this agreement insist that Iran’s infrastructure must be completely dismantled.
Yet this deal is the most direct, workable route to blocking every pathway Iran has to a bomb.
It completely defangs Iran’s nuclear infrastructure by effectively eliminating uranium stockpiles, cutting centrifuges by two-thirds, and preventing acquisition of plutonium.
6) It exposed Iran’s entire nuclear program to global scrutiny
Opponents of the agreement argue that this deal allows Iran to still engage in some nuclear research and development.
In fact, this deal severely restricts Iran’s nuclear R&D, including by prohibiting the testing of advanced centrifuges using uranium. It also drags Iran’s R&D program out into the light of day, subjecting it to the most intrusive inspections and verification regime in history.
Without the deal, Iran’s research and development would revert to being unrestricted and unmonitored.
7) Iran’s support for terror will still be punished
Opponents of the agreement say it does not stop Iran’s support for terrorism.
It’s important to understand that this deal does not let Iran off the hook for its sponsorship of terrorism, and continues to punish it for that and other outrageous activity. Under the deal, sanctions will remain firmly in place against Iranian support for terrorism, human rights abuses and ballistic missile development.
And most importantly, this deal keeps Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, which could then fall into other dangerous hands.
8) More sanctions won’t stop Iran. This deal does.
Opponents of this agreement say the United States should impose tougher sanctions and insist on a “better deal.”
However, new US sanctions would actually result in less pressure on Iran to make concessions, not more.
If Congress rejects a deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, we will be blamed, not Iran. China, Russia and other countries would resume their business with Iran, collapsing the tough sanctions regime, while Iran could kick out inspectors and resume concerning activities, paving the way for it to develop a bomb.