NSN Advisory Board Chairman Sandy Berger on the Iran Nuclear Deal
A “No” to Iran Means No Forever
By Samuel Berger
August 2015 | POLITICO
There is a notion cultivated by opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement, attractive to members of Congress under intense pressure to vote no, that congressional rejection of the agreement will enable U.S. negotiators to reach a better deal. The expectation is, that with a further turn of the screws, we can pressure the Iranians to give more and/or we give less. But it can’t happen.
The agreement needs to be judged on its merits and the consequences of rejecting it need to be confronted without the illusion that there will be another, easier chance. Opponents cannot escape through a trapped door marked “later.” There is no later, this is the end of the line. Rejection fundamentally shifts the balance of power on Iran from the president to the Congress in a way that makes a future agreement virtually impossible to achieve. Voting no deprives this president, or a future president, of bargaining power over the Iranians. It isolates us in the world. And it allows Iran to move further toward a nuclear weapon, presenting the United States and Israel with terrible choices…