The hawks say that we cannot trust Iran, that they've proved time and again that they do not stick to agreements or that they use a superficial agreement as a cover to continue secretly working toward nuclear weapons.
Fareed Zakaria, writing in Time magazine, says:
"Here's what would have happened had there been no deal: Iran would have continued to build up its nuclear program, with no constraints or inspections.Do we fully understand what is going on in Iran? Probably not. We do know that Amadinijad is gone and that the Iranian people elected a more moderate president and that he seems to have the backing of the Supreme Leader. But do we know whether they are really intent on developing nuclear weapons? Or could this be a tactic to change the power balance -- and could that motive be handled through diplomacy?
"We don't have to imagine that scenario; it's happened before. In 2003, Iran approached the U. S. with an offer to talk . . . . The Bush Administration rebuffed Tehran because it believed that the Iranian regime . . . would either capitulate or collapse if Washington just stayed tough.
"So there was no deal. What was the result? In 2003, Iran had 160 centrifuges installed; it now has about 19,000. . . .
"Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu announced his opposition to the deal instantly. And yet nothing his government has done in a decade has stalled any part of Iran's program, whereas the Geneva deal freezes most of it and actually reverses one key element -- the stockpile of near 20% uranium . . . "
The reality seems to be that Iran has the knowledge to develop nuclear programs for energy production and for medical/scientific/technological purposes. Why shouldn't they, if we can be sure they don't become a threatening nuclear power? We won't know whether this new president can be trusted or whether he will be allowed to continue with moderation unless we give him the opportunity to prove himself.
That is the question for our diplomats to pursue. And that opportunity is what is being purchased by this temporary agreement. It is a test period to see if Iran is willing to live within those parameters. Is so, why not let them develop nuclear capability for peaceful purposes -- with full compliance with inspections and reporting.
The old Iranian regime proved untrustworthy. True. So critics are right to be cautious. But shouldn't there be a way for a regime to change and be reaccepted in the world? And how would it prove that it had changed?
By doing exactly what this temporary agreement gives them the opportunity to do.
The alternative can only lead to economic disaster for the Iranian people and constant belligerance and quite possibly even another war that would draw us in.
Let's take the chance.