By Fareed Zakaria
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Let’s imagine that the opponents of the nuclear agreement with Iran get their way: The U.S. Congress kills it. What is the most likely consequence? Within one year, Iran would have more than 25,000 centrifuges, its breakout time would shrink to mere weeks and the sanctions against it would crumble. How is this in the United States’ national interest? Or Israel’s? Or Saudi Arabia’s?
This is not an implausible scenario; it is rooted in facts. In 2005, three European powers rejected a nuclear deal with Iran after two years of negotiations. Hassan Rouhani, now president, was then Iran’s chief negotiator. After the talks collapsed, the Islamic republic ramped up centrifuge production, going from fewer than 200 installed to 20,000 today. It also built up more than 16,000 pounds of enriched uranium gas and accelerated work on the heavy-water reactor at Arak, which provides…
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