- NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: 71% of Americans believe deal with Iran will not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday says that 71% of Americans believe that a nuclear deal with Iran will not make a real difference in preventing it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. A much smaller percentage, 24%, believes that it will make a difference. Approximately one-third of Democrats believe that a deal will be effective in preventing an Iranian bomb compared with 11% of Republicans. A majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – 58%, 72%, and 86% respectively – think a nuclear agreement will not make a big difference. A recent Fox News poll found that 84% of Americans consider the sunset provision of the deal currently being negotiated by Iran and the P5+1 nations a “bad idea.” According to a February Gallup survey, 77% of Americans believe the development of nuclear weapons by Iran is a critical threat.
President Obama has pledged to make sure that “Iran doesn’t have the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon” and the administration has repeatedly assured that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” However, The Washington Post editorial board argues that “a process that began with the goal of eliminating Iran’s potential to produce nuclear weapons has evolved into a plan to tolerate and temporarily restrict that capability.” The P5+1 countries are now hoping to extend Iran’s breakout time to a year. Dr. Emily B. Landau, an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, writes that a breakout time of one year “is in reality no time at all.”
The Washington Post editorial board continues, “Where it once aimed to eliminate Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, the administration now appears ready to accept an infrastructure of thousands of Iranian centrifuges.” Tommy Vietor, then-spokesman for the National Security Council, said in April 2012, “Our position is clear: Iran must live up to its international obligations, including full suspension of uranium enrichment as required by multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.” In an early period of the negotiations beginning in November 2013, the United States reportedly sought to leave Iran with “no more than 1,500 centrifuges left operating.” Throughout the negotiating period, the number of centrifuges the P5+1 is prepared to accept has allegedly increased to up to 6,500.
The terrorist organization Hamas misused international law during Operation Protective Edge last summer “to undermine Israel’s perceived moral standing and international support,” according to a report commissioned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and released this week. The report (.pdf), which was written by a task force headed by five retired American generals, observed:
Contrary to accusations of widespread unlawful military conduct, we observed that Israel systemically applied established rules of conduct that adhered to or exceeded the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) in a virtually unprecedented effort to avoid inflicting civilian casualties, even when doing so would have been lawfully permitted, and to satisfy the concerns of critics. However, it is the conclusion of this Task Force that Israel’s military restraint unintentionally empowered Hamas to distort both the law and facts for their own purposes to the ultimate detriment of civilians’ safety, for which Hamas bears sole responsibility.
The central chapter of the report, called “Weaponizing the Law” explains how Hamas manipulated international law to take advantage of the “widespread misunderstanding of LOAC not just among warring parties but also media, observers and the international public – a misunderstanding built on the false assumption that the law prohibits the infliction of any and all civilian casualties.”