(CNSNews.com) – Instead of stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the deal brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry puts the U.S. “in far worse position to prevent a nuclear Iran,” two retired generals said in a report released by the New York-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).
The report, co-authored by Gen. James Conway (USMC-Ret.) and Gen. Charles Wald (USAF-Ret.), takes a dim view of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed on July 14 by the U.S., Iran and five other countries, flatly stating that it “will not prevent a nuclear Iran.”
But by lifting sanctions in return for a pledge not to develop a nuclear bomb, the agreement will give Iran the time and money it needs to upgrade its military capabilities, the generals noted.
“Contrary to the false choice between support for the JCPOA and military confrontation, the agreement increases both the probability and danger of hostilities with Iran,” the generals stated.
The deal “both increases the possibility of direct military confrontation with Iran and makes any such confrontation much more perilous.”
“Iran will be able to revitalize its defense industrial base in the short term, even if it devotes only a fraction of the $100 billion or more that will be unfrozen as part of the agreement – more than the government’s entire budget for the current fiscal year – to military spending,” including the development of long-range ballistic missiles, they pointed out.
“Given the deleterious strategic consequences to the United States, implementation of the JCPOA will demand increased political and military engagement in the Middle East that carries significantly greater risks and costs relative to current planning assumptions.”
Lifting sanctions will also allow Iran to funnel more resources to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, creating “cascading instability” in the region, the report added.
“Combined with improved military capabilities, these developments could enable the Iranian regime to create a ‘Shia crescent’ from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean” with “the potential to erase the decades-old balance of power between Iran and its adversaries in the Middle East, replacing it with a level of Iranian dominance not previously seen.”
Other Gulf states would likely “pursue their own nuclear arsenals in response to Iran attaining nuclear weapons,” the generals warned.
But “unlike the Cold War, when the spread of nuclear weapons among U.S. allies reinforced deterrence, a proliferation cascade in the Middle East would undermine it, with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Israel and potentially others trapped in an inherently unstable multilateral nuclear imbalance.”