The Iran deal mythmaking predates the Iran deal itself. When the actual agreement was still but a glint in the negotiating team’s eye, it had already been declared to be both savior and downfall of nations as varied as the United States, Israel, Syria, and Iran itself. But while there were bits of truth in many of those arguments, they were largely composed of exaggeration and nonsense. Here are a few of the most common myths about the Iran deal.
Myth 1: The Iran deal will make it easier for Iran to get a nuclear bomb
This is by far the most common myth I’ve heard. From Republicans to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there hasn’t been a point that has been made about the Iran Deal that hasn’t mentioned this. However, this is the exact opposite of what is happening! Iran is having major cuts to its nuclear program and is regularly getting thorough inspections.
Iran will give up about 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges, will give up 97% of enriched uranium, will be forbidden from enriching uranium beyond energy-grade fuel,(3.67% enrichment), and will replace the core of its plutonium plant with a new core that cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium. All of this combined makes it extremely difficult to make a nuclear weapon. Nuclear Weapons expert Aaron Stein says the deal “makes the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon in the next 25 years extremely remote.” This is exactly what the United States sought out of this deal, and they it got it.
Myth #2: The Iran deal will pave Iran’s way to regional domination
Iran is bent on hegemonic expansion of power in the Middle East, it uses violence and terrorism and sponsors terrible groups to achieve this aim, so every penny it gets back from economic sanctions relief will go to furthering this violent agenda right?
Wrong! It is simply not the case that Iran will devote every penny of the money it gets back to wreaking regional havoc. Currently most of the country’s budget goes to salaries for government employees and social services. Now suddenly because of this deal the government is going to turn its back on its people and engage in nefarious activities? No! Iranians are people and they have been suffering from these sanctions along with the government. The US returning Iran’s money will definitely ease some of that pressure off of them. The CIA even predicts that Iran will spend its money on domestic matters.
Myth #3: The Iran deal will usher in a prosperous Iran
This myth is more commonly heard in Iran than in the US. When the completion of the deal was announced, Iranians flooded the streets in joy falsely believing the deal will bring an end to their hardships under the sanctions.
However, the harsh reality of it is that Iran’s economy is suffering. The economy is plagued by problems such as corruption, a middle-income trap, and a heavy reliance on oil and natural gas exports. Those are hard problems to solve, and if they get solved at all it will take many years.
Myth #4: Iran will be able to block inspections
Critics have been claiming that the deal will be ineffective because Iran will be able to evade monitoring of their facilities.
This is not the case. According to experts the inspections are “strongest element of the deal,” and, “the likelihood of getting caught is near 100 percent,” if Iran tries to cheat. And even then in that case, the party can first go to the joint committee that’s in charge of deal enforcement. But if it’s not happy with that committee’s decision, it can go to the Security Council, at which point sanctions will “snap back” into place after 30 days unless a new resolution is passed — and the US can veto any resolution, effectively allowing it to force the UN to reimpose new sanctions.
Even if Iran decided to cheat anyway, it will have surrendered so much of its program that it would take it a full year of cheating, with every centrifuge spinning at full capacity, to get enough material for a single bomb. That’s more than enough time for the world to see it coming and respond.