NSN Advisory Board Chairman Sandy Berger on the Iran Nuclear Deal

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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…

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Photo Credit: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to testify at a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee July 28, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is reviewing the proposed Iran nuclear agreement.  [Olivier Douliery/Getty Images, accessed 8/10/2015].

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5512871254_ae2252ebb9_oSecretary of Defense Robert M. Gates tours the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter production facility with Lockheed Martin President Robert Stevens, right, and Vice President Ralph Heath, left, in Fort Worth, TX., Aug. 31, 2009.  DOD photo by Cherie Cullen (released)