Fareed Zakaria writes open letter to Senator Charles Schumer about the Iran deal

Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post:

Dear Sen. Schumer,

When you announced your decision to vote against the nuclear agreement with Iran, you explained your reasons in a nearly 1,700-word statement that is thoughtful in substance and civil in tone. And yet, in the end, I found it unconvincing.

I believe that the agreement is flawed. But it is the most intrusive, demanding and comprehensive set of inspections, verification protocols and snapback measures ever negotiated. Compare the detailed 159-page document with the United States' 1994 accord with North Korea, which was a vaguely worded four-page document with few monitoring and enforcement provisions.

You have three sets of objections, which I will get to, but you fail to note what must happen at the outset, before Iran gets widespread sanctions relief.

Iran must destroy 98 percent of its enriched uranium and all of its 5 percent to 20 percent enriched uranium, remove and store more than two-thirds of its centrifuges (including all advanced centrifuges), terminate all enrichment at its Fordow nuclear facility and render inoperable the key components of its Arak (plutonium) reactor. All of these steps must be completed to the satisfaction of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It is difficult to imagine that a serious military campaign against Iran would set back its nuclear program as much as this deal does from the start. Fordow, for example, is buried deep in a mountain and would probably survive all but the most intense bombardment.

More here.