Tags: America's Forum | Iran | nuclear | program. sanctions | diplomacy

Ex-Defense Adviser: No Good Options With Iran's Nuclear Program

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 06:11 PM

By Courtney Coren


Former Defense Department special adviser Matt Kroenig says that when it comes to dismantling Iran's nuclear program, there really are "no good options."

"The question is, what is the least bad option? So the alternative to diplomacy — either conducting a military strike on Iran or simply giving up and allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons are worse than continuing the negotiations," Kroenig told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.

"I think there are problems with negotiations — it's going to be hard to get a deal. Even the deal we're pursuing isn't a very good deal," he explained. "There are many downside risks to pursuing negotiations, but it's probably less bad than the alternatives."

That being said, Kroenig explained that "our prospects" are "not good."

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The author of "A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat" said that Iran's main motivation for engaging in negotiations with the United States over its nuclear program is "to try to get out from under the sanctions" because they "have devastated their economy."

However, they are trying to "get sanctions relief, but keep as much of its nuclear program in place as possible."

In the meantime, the United States is trying "to do the exact opposite — try to dismantle as much of their nuclear facilities as possible and keep the economic pressure in place."

"These are really zero sum negotiations," he added.

Kroenig explained that even President Barack Obama has admitted that that it's a "50-50 chance that we get a deal here."

The upside is that Iran has a tendency to exaggerate "its capabilities," the former Defense Department adviser said.

"It's done this with drones, it's done this with naval technology, it's done this with its ballistic missile technology," he added. "That said, Iran is pursuing capabilities that are threatening to us and we should be very concerned about it, but we should also take Iran's statements with a grain of salt."

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