President Barack Obama made a believable case on Thursday afternoon for the nuclear deal with Iran that he said is now within sight, but in selling it well he papered over some important points, lawyer and author Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV
"He made the best possible case for the deal," Dershowitz told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Thursday. "It was quite persuasive but he left a lot of questions unanswered."
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The long-awaited agreement
has had numerous critics and skeptics ever since the talks began, and prominent among those have been ardent defenders of Israel, including Dershowitz.
They have questioned whether Iran, whose leaders continue to call for Israel's destruction
, can be trusted to limit their nuclear program to peaceful purposes.
Given the doubts, Dershowitz said he was not prepared to call the nonproliferation deal brokered by the United States a win for the president. Dershowitz also maintained his prediction that Iran will have a nuclear weapon within a decade.
"At one point he said the deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for at least 10 years, and then he said they will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons," Dershowitz said of the president. "Well, which is it? Is this a green light in 10 years, or is it a red light for 15 or 20 years? We don't know."
"The other thing we heard [from Obama] is this: There was no alternative to a deal," said Dershowitz. "He said the only alternatives to a deal were a military attack, which he really basically took off the table, or continued sanctions, which he said European partners would never pursue. So he accepted this deal because basically a bad deal is better than no deal at all.
"Now is this a good deal? It's unclear," he said.
Dershowitz said he also also found it troubling that Obama favored the king of Saudi Arabia with advance word that an agreement was about to be reached, but had not yet spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — a deal critic but also the leader of America's closest Middle East ally.
"Why did he speak to the Saudi king before the deal was struck, but wait until after the deal was struck to tell Netanyahu that the deal was struck?" said Dershowitz. "That to me also was very, very questionable."
Looking ahead, Dershowitz said: "Nobody should get any benefit of any doubts when it comes to a nuclear Iran. There should be no benefit of doubts. We have to look at this is in a very, very hard-nosed way.
"[Obama] said the scientists all agree with this — he's wrong about that," said Dershowitz. "There are many scientists who don't agree with this. There are many diplomats who won't think this is a very good deal. We have to hear all the evidence."
Dershowitz said public hearings should be held to examine the deal in detail.
"My own prediction is within a decade Iran will have a nuclear bomb," he said. "That's my prediction. If that happens, this is a not a good deal."
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