Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV
on Tuesday that "we were out-negotiated by the Iranians" and that has led to a nuclear arms agreement that is scorned by Israel and by Republicans and many Democrats in the United States.
"They created a very bad negotiating posture from the very beginning," Dershowitz told "Newsmax Prime" host Joe Pags of President Barack Obama's administration. "They took the military option of the table.
"The Iranians knew immediately that Obama did not really have a military option," he added. "They told the Iranians that the sanctions would weaken if the deal fell through — and they've put the Iranians in a very, very good position to negotiate hard."
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Regarding Israel, "all Israelis are united against this deal," Dershowitz said. "The opposition is against this deal, too. Everybody in Israel is opposed to this deal.
"Almost all Republicans are in the United States; many Democrats are. Some who are opposed to it won't vote that way — but in their heart, they know that this is a very dangerous deal," he said.
President Obama announced the deal with the United States and five world powers early Tuesday. It would gradually lift some economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear arsenal. Congress has 60 days to review the deal.
"It depends on the nature of the deal," Dershowitz told Pags. "If it's a permanent prevention of Iran developing nuclear weapons, three cheers. If it's a green light to develop nuclear weapons in 10 years, it's a very, very bad deal."
Israel was not a part of the talks, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "not bound by this issue," he said. "Israel was not included in the negotiations. Even though it is the intended target of the nuclear weapons, it's not bound by it — and it has an obligation to its own citizens to protect itself if it feels that Iran is cheating and is about to develop nuclear weapons.
"It probably will and certainly has the right to take whatever military action is necessary to prevent that from happening."
Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told Pags that the 159-page deal was not going to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb — only that it would "extend what they call the breakout time from three months to one year.
"Some of the problems you can highlight is that it legitimizes the entire nuclear infrastructure of the Iran regime," he added. "It maintains the enrichment capability of the Iranian regime. It allows the Iranian regime to do research and development on advanced centrifuge machines."
Perhaps the biggest trouble with the accord is the verification conditions, Jafarzadeh said.
"It will allow the Iranian regime to get into going back and forth for as long as they can drag it out — and then there is a body that is going to look at it," he said. "The time you can really get access, if you ever get access to some sites, is definitely over a month — and that's enough time for Iran to temper evidence, as they have done before.
"This is not the kind of verification you want with a regime that has been proven to lie and cheat in the past and is at the same time the worst leading state sponsor of terror," he said.
Both Republicans and Democrats have slammed the agreement — and Dershowitz hopes it remains a bipartisan issue.
"All Democrats, all Republicans should be looking at this deal very skeptically," he told Pags. "If, on the other hand, it becomes a partisan issue and the Democrats support the deal and the Republicans oppose the deal, it could have an impact on the election. It's a little early to tell that.
"Support for Israel has always been a bipartisan issue; opposition to Iran has always been a bipartisan issue. This should not break down into liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat. It should be all Americans concerned about the possibility that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon in 10 years."
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