Scrap the Iran deal because it only offers weak protection

“The deal has failed to live up to the original goal of the international community when talks with Tehran started: to stop Iran from ever getting nuclear weapons. Instead, at best, the current deal only delays it by 10-15 years.”

This is an interesting argument which has cropped up repeatedly in the context of debate about whether or not the US should revoke the Iran deal, signed by President Obama, and designed to curb the development of nuclear weapons.

The deal, as the political situation itself, is complex, so there are many arguments involved. But this one seems baffling on closer inspection:

Yes, if one thinks nuclear weapons development is very bad, then delaying that for just 10-15 years is a lot less desirable than delaying it indefinitely. But wouldn’t delaying it by 10-15 years still be preferable to not delaying it at all?

The argument that something offers flimsy protection seems meaningful only as part of a contrastive argument for better protection. If what is intended is an argument that some other course of action offers more than 10-15 years protection, or offers a better guarantee of 10-15 years protection, then that other course of action needs to be spelled out clearly and its advantages determined.

But, as readers can see, there is no such attempt in the piece from which we have drawn this argument. The piece concludes simply:

“Trump needs to ask himself one very simple question on May 12: Does the Iran deal stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons forever? If the answer is no, then he must walk away.”