‘Iran deal put us on cruise control heading over a cliff,’ former envoy warns


Assessment: “Without a credible US military threat, no diplomacy will achieve a positive outcome and unfortunately, I don’t see that happening right now,” says former Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer …

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer this week defended his government’s positions that encouraged the United States to leave the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and supported Israel’s current position that the US must leave a military option on the table and signal that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons.

Speaking on Tuesday in a Zoom seminar held by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), in conversation with JINSA President and CEO Michael Makovsky, the former envoy said he stands by his previously expressed stance that US withdrawal from the deal (also known as the JCPOA) under the Trump administration was the single-most important decision that any president had made for Israel’s national security.

“Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain” Esther 3:8

While that decision didn’t end the Iranian threat, it was a “critical means to an end” because the JCPOA provided a legal framework for Iran to achieve nuclear status once the deal’s provisions ended, rather than block it entirely, he said.

“Because what the deal did is it put restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program for a limited number of years, and those restrictions would be automatically removed,” said Dermer, who served as ambassador from 2013-2021 before joining JINSA as a non-resident distinguished fellow at the JINSA Gemunder Center.

“And contrary to what many people believe, the nuclear deal did not freeze Iran’s program.”

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