As we begin the Jewish New Year on Sunday evening, many Israelis — both Jews and Arabs — are anxious about what the coming year holds. And the Iran nuclear deal has only increased their concerns.

Why do President Obama, the U.N. Secretary General, and most leadersof the international community support the Iran agreement so strongly, whileonly 21% of the American peoplesupport it, and most Americans and Israelis see the deal as deeply flawed and dangerous?

This is the question I keep being asked in interviews, and it’s an important one.

The short answer is that most world leaders say the Iran deal is “historic” and support it because they are convinced it wil put the world on the path to “peace and safety.”

As you can see from the list of quotes I have compiled below, this is the language being used over and over again by American and foreign leaders — peace, safety, security, historic. Pundits and editorial writers are saying the same thing. They all repeat it like a mantra, that the deal will provide the world (and Israel) with unprecedented “peace and safety.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who opposes the Iran deal, put his finger precisely on the central issue.

“Ultimately, it depends on how one thinks Iran will behave,”Schumer recently explained. “If one thinks Iran will moderate, one should approve the agreement. But if one feels that Iranian leaders won’t moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.”

Schumer is right. Whether this deal leads to peace or war comes down to a matter of the Iranian leadership’s motives and future behavior. President Obama, most world leaders, and untold number of pundits and editorial writers believe that Iran’s leaders truly want to re-enter the good graces of the family of nations, that really they want “back in” to international commerce and fellowship, and will moderate their behavior once the world receives them with open arms. Thus, they believe that this deal provides a generous, face-saving opportunity for the leaders in Tehran to build a safe and peaceful civilian nuclear power industry while promising to never build nuclear weapons.

In this regard, my friend, Jim Woolsey, a Democrat who served as CIA Director under President Clinton in the 1990s, recently made a very insightful remark. “This would be a perfectly reasonable agreement if it were with, say, Denmark.” That is, when you read the 159-page agreement, it is a reasonably serious document on the face of it, prepared by professional arms control negotiators and nuclear experts and other experienced diplomats. As such, it would be fine if it were a deal made with a moderate, calm, peaceful, non-belligerent nation like Denmark.

But as Woolsey adds, the Iranians are not the Danes. Tehran cannot be trusted. They have never dealt straight with the international community. They have repeatedly lied and cheated, especially with regards to their nuclear program. They are the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. And, as I pointed out in my National Review column on September 11th — and in this fact sheet — Iran’s leaders are driven by anapocalyptic, genocidal eschatology or End Times theology that calls for the annihilation of the U.S. and Israel. This is why so many of us see the exact same deal not as reasonable but insane.

The bottom line is this: the world is making a very large bet on a very bad group of actors. God help us all if they are wrong.



  • SEVEN WORLD GOVERNMENTS: “The E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran welcome this historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful….[T]his JCPOA will positively contribute to regional and international peace and security.” (Opening paragraph of the Iran nuclear deal, Vienna, July 14, 2015.)

  • U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON: “I warmly welcome the historic agreement in Vienna today and congratulate the P5+1 and Iran for reaching this agreement. This is testament to the value of dialogue…. As such it could serve as avital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond.” (July 14, 2015)

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world.” (September 10, 2015)

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not — a comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon….This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction….a different path, one of tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict.” (July 14, 2015)

  • VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “Now we have a historic opportunity to forge an enduring peaceful solution…. a final deal must provide verifiable assurances the international community is demanding to ensure Iran’s program is exclusively peaceful going forward.” (April 30, 2015)

  • HOUSE MINORITY LEADER REP. NANCY PELOSI: “This is historic. This is grand. This is visionary. This is about peace….Some of our members are saying this is the first time since I have been here that I have been able to vote for peace rather than just against war. So, I have confidence in it. The president has authority to do this. The opportunity for Congress to reject it will be met with rejection. And we go forward.” (September 10, 2015)

  • SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: “Two months ago, in Vienna, the United States and five other nations – including permanent members of the UN Security Council – reached agreement with Iran on ensuring the peaceful nature of that country’s nuclear program….[H]istory may judge it a turning point….” (September 2, 2015)

  • REP. PATRICK MURPHY: “This debate has proven to me that America and Israel are fortunate to have so many passionate, diverse voices who all want the same things: a nuclear-free Iran, a secure Israel, and peace in our time. In the interest of all three, I will be supporting this deal…”

  • REP. HANK JOHNSON: “I will be voting in support of this monumental diplomatic achievement and in support of peace…. We have an opportunity to choose peace. It is time for Congress to be on the right side of history.”

  • REP. KEITH ELLISON: “The historic agreement reached today proves the power of engagement over isolation — we can choose peace over war. The world is safer thanks to the patient diplomacy and determination of President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and our P5+1 negotiating partners.”

  • REP. DEREK KILMER: “The proposed agreement with Iran is historic, with the power to shape not only the Middle East but the entire world….[I]t puts us on a path toward a safer and more peaceful world.”

  • REP. LLOYD DOGGETT: “Negotiations have already made our families safer.   While demanding thorough scrutiny, this agreement appears to mark genuine progress for all who believe that peace will make us more secure than war with Iran.”