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Supporters of Deal Are Strengthening Iran's Negotiating Position

Throughout the continuing nuclear talks with Iran, Stand for Israel has stood against making a bad deal with the Islamic Republic – a deal that would allow the very nation that threatens Israel’s existence to obtain nuclear weapons. Yet there are many who still want such a deal to be made. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz argues that supporters of such a bad deal are only giving Iran more leverage with which to negotiate:

Despite repeating the mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal” with Iran, the United States seems to be negotiating on the basis of a belief that the worst possible outcome of the current negotiations is no deal. Many supporters of the deal that is now apparently on the table are arguing that there is no realistic alternative to this deal. That sort of thinking out loud empowers the Iranian negotiators to demand more and compromise less, because they believe — and have been told by American supporters of the deal — that the United States has no alternative but to agree to a deal that is acceptable to the Iranians …

This is the worst sort of negotiation strategy imaginable: telling the other side that any proposal that is not acceptable to them will be taken off the table, and that any leader who offers it will be attacked as a deal breaker. This approach — attacking Netanyahu without responding to his proposal on their merits — characterizes the approach of the administration and its supporters.

We will now never know whether Iran might have accepted a conditional sunset provision, because the advocates of the current deal, both inside and outside the administration, have told Iran that if they reject this proposal, it will be withdrawn, because it endangers the deal. What incentive would the Iranians then have to consider this proposal on its merits? None!

The current mindset of the deal’s advocates is that the United States needs the deal more than the Iranians do. That is why the U.S. is constantly leaking reports that the Mullahs may be reluctant to sign even this one-sided deal, which has shifted perceptibly in favor of the Iranian position over the past several months. But the truth is that Iran, which is suffering greatly from the combination of sanctions and dropping oil prices, needs this deal — a deal that would end sanctions and allow it unconditionally to develop nuclear weapons within ten years. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will accept it. They may push for even more compromises on the part of the United States. The reality is that we are in a far stronger negotiating position than advocates of the deal have asserted, but we are negotiating from weakness because we have persuaded the Iranians that we need the deal — any deal — more than they do.

Tags: United States , Iran

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