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Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Resolved: The Iranian Nuclear Deal is a "mistake."

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,386 times Debate No: 77731
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (51)
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I would like to thank Contra ahead of time for accepting this long anticipated debate.

1st Round is acceptance.
2nd Round is for Opening Arguments, NO rebuttals.
3rd Round is for Rebuttals.
4th Round is for Rebuttals and Conclusions.
No semantics
No Trolling.
No Kritcs
BOP is shared

The Following users are prohibited from voting on this debate. If they do their votes shall be counted as a Vote Bomb and their votes shall be removed from this debate.

Iranian Nuclear Deal- Text is found here (

"mistake"- meaning that it was a bad deal for the Western and other Middle Eastern Nations

In order for Pro to win he must prove that the deal was harmful to western nations.
In order for Con to win he must show that the deal was benefitial to western nations.
If it is a compramise (neither beneficital nor harmful) the arguments section is to be tied.


I accept this debate. Let us go!
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for this debate as it has one that I have been antipicpating for quite some time.

I thought that it would be good to start the debate with some political humor.

Contention 1: Iranian support for international terrorism

It has been no secreate that for a long time that Iran has been sponsering international terrorism. One of their greatest terror affilates is that of Hezbollah. In fact the US State Department reported that in 2012 the terror organization and Iran have reached the greatest amounts of collabertate terror strikes against foreign and western targets since the 1990s. [1] The CIA has even found that Muhammad Khatami, the Iranian Mullah (their Theocratic Leader) has been a huge sponser and affilat with Hezbollah. The Iranian Quod Forces were arrested in Tel Avi with photo graphs and plans to attack the US embassy. [1] Now who is the Iranian Quod forces you may ask? They are an organization that was estabilished by the Iranians after their Revolution to ensure that their revolution continues. Israeli Prime Minister Netayahu had revealed that the deal gives Iran $300 billion in compensation over the economic turmoil that the nation had to endure over the embargo. He even gave the insite that Iran is producing IBMs to reach the US eastern seaboard to the point that in a decade when the Nuclear weapons embargo ends that they will have the projectile and range to each, Boston, New York, and even Washington DC. [2] Not to mention that the deal allows them to buy and sell weaponry in which they can use to support Hezbollah and other terror regeims.

Many in the US and around the world believe that Iran will help and be a "force for good" in the middle east, but that is highly mistaken. Here we can see that more likely then not will Iran seek to aid ISIS, but they will help them create the world wide Islamic Empire. All we have to do is look to the Iranian Constitution in which it doesn't recognize many boarders and will supress its own civilization with Shia Law. [3] Not to mention that it's own IRGC and Quod Forces are pushing for more and more attacks against "infidelic" nations. Obama is misinterperting the Iranian intervention as a sign that they are in it for the defeat of ISIS, but what we really need to remember is that he is actually support Al-Asaad in Syria by trying to push ISIS out of Syria. [4] Iran has even gone as far as to try and to down play ISIS saying that it could be delt with quickly and in some cases has reported that they have been pushed out of Iraq, though we know that's far from the truth. [5] Western allies believe that Iran will have a major involvement, but we can see that Iran's devotion to little boots on the ground and lead from behind stance that Iran will not be a major player in the war to combat ISIS. [6] The nuclear deal even goes as far as to the US having to protect Iran if it gets attacked by a foreign enity to the point where this is now a direct conflict of interest with Israel and is the very foreign entanglement issue that George Washington warned about when he left office.

Contention 2: Iran's gradualism to getting the bomb.

We have all known that Iran has been enriching Uranium for quite some time, but we can see that their enrcihment has gradually gotten them closer and closer to getting the bomb. In a graph bellow we can see just how close Iran is getting to being able to have the bomb. The IAEA reported that this graph showed that Iran ended up getting 50 killatons in 2 microseconds. The bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima was 15. We can see by this very evidence that they are getting extremely close to getting the bomb.

Iran Bomb Chart

Throughout the years Iran has been getting closer and closer and we can see that they might be the next North Korea or Pakistan. Iran currently has enought LEUs inorder to build 11 nuclear weaponry. Their production has skyrocketted. [7] To further the fuel to the fire we can see that Iran is now able to inspect their own centrafuges in a new accord by the IAEA. [8] With that Iran is able to report however many Centerfuges it "has" and will inspect those and report back to the IAEA. It is very possible to create one underground or with the large cave systems the nation has. Many Centrafuges would be very hard to detect and getting a huge gain here would be huge in whipping out Israel and if you don't believe me take it from Marco Rubio.
was orginially that Iran couldn't enrich at all, then it was that they could enrich up only under 20%, then it was you could enrich to 20% but send it overseas, now it's you can enrich but only for a research purposes. Before you know it we'll be building Iran a bomb for him."- Marco Rubio

Contention 3: Oil Flooding

We have to look at another key aspect here and it's the oil market. Oil has already been at a new low not seen since late 2008. Though many average Americans think that this is a good thing for cheeper gas and food prices, but this is creating more problems that it will cause. Iran is and will flood the oil market as soon and it will only spell trouble for oil producers world wide. [9] This will drop prices significantly where even the Wall Street Journal has reported that a drop in oil prices down to nearly $30 per barrel. This will cripple oil production around the world, even OPEC. With prices this low it will force American oil produces and producers around the world will have to go under and even with cuts it won't be enough to keep these comapnies a float. [10] This will create a massive splash that mirrors that of the Baby Boom, but for oil. This is something that will bankrupt many companies causing an energy crisis that will spike oil prices upwards and many people will go out of buisness. This has began to happen with many companies and we need to observe bellow we can see how many companies are loosing money and at a large amount.

Almost Buckling Under the Pressure: Daily Price of Crude Oil (West Texas Intermediate)

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4. DINA ESFANDIARY AND ARIANE TABATABAI' s interview with Mohammad Javad Zarif, New York, 19 Sept. 2014.
5. DINA ESFANDIARY AND ARIANE TABATABAI' s interviews with officials in Tehran, 13–16 June 2014.
6. ‘Vakonesh-e Rouhani be khabar-e emkan-e soghout-e Karbala o Najaf/Mahdoudiat-i dar amaliat nakhahim dasht’ [Rouhani’s reaction to the news of possibility of the fall of Karnataka and Naka], Mehr News, 25 Aug. 2014.
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Thank you lannan13 for your arguments. I will lay out my arguments in favor of deal. But I'll start with a humorous picture as well:

C1: Degrades Iran’s Nuclear Weapon Capabilities

The agreement accomplishes the following:

Reduces Iran’s installed centrifuges by two-thirds

Nuclear weapons have fissile material that is derived from uranium, which is enriched through installed centrifuges. The deal slashes Iran’s centrifuges by 2/3rds.

Limits Iran’s uranium enrichment to 3.67%

Iran will have the nuclear infrastructure that allows them to produce peaceful nuclear energy. Iran WILL NOT be able to produce weapons-grade uranium or plutonium. Iran will be unable to produce a nuclear weapon.

Annihilates 97% of Iran’s nuclear stockpile

Iran will be allowed to keep 300kg of its 10,000kg stockpile of low-enriched uranium. [1] This nuclear stockpile will only function with nuclear power plants. It cannot become weapons-grade.

Limits Iran’s uranium enrichment

“Iran will only enrich uranium at the Natanz facility… which Tehran may use to produce low-enriched uranium.” [1] [2] It will be under constant monitoring by the IAEA [2]. The facility will exclusively utilize IR-1 centrifuges (the most rudimentary).

So Iran will be able to enrich uranium at a single location, and this uranium will only function with nuclear power plants.

C2: Heavy Enforcement Provisions

Inspections and Oversight

The IAEA - an international organization - “will have regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities” [1].

Furthermore, the IAEA will be able to inspect “all parts of Iran’s nuclear supply chain” [3].

The IAEA will be able to investigate [2] [3]:

  • The two uranium mines in Iran
  • The single uranium enrichment facility at Natanz
  • The two repurposed heavy water reactors at Arak and Fordow
  • Every single centrifuge in Iran
  • Every centrifuge production facility
  • Every uranium ore processing mill
  • Every import that could become nuclear-related equipment (all PMD materials need IAEA pre-approval)
  • Every suspicious site in Iran

On top of all of this, Iran will become a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits Iran from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons and places IAEA safeguards on any nuclear infrastructure [1].

Snapback Mechanism

If Iran somehow manages to cheat on the deal, all of the U.N. Security Council sanctions will snapback into place [1].


Iran does not benefit from the treaty until the IAEA “has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps.” [2] If there is a disagreement, treaty participants initially go through a "dispute resolution process", and if disagreements cannot be resolved, the sanctions are reinstated.

C3: Economic Opportunities


Iran will eventually be able to contribute upwards of 800,000 barrels of oil each day to the global energy market [4]. This will spur downward pressure on crude oil prices, and consequently American consumers will significantly benefit from cheaper fuel and gas.


Global trade will be able to expand as Iran becomes more integrated with the global economy. Greater opportunities for selling products abroad and importing cheaper goods at home will help strengthen nations around the globe. The expansion of trade will help strengthen nations such as our E.U. partners. In our interconnected world, the higher economic performance in areas such as Europe and Asia will allow the U.S. economy to grow faster as well.

C4: Benefits to the Iranian People

Windflow to Iran’s Economy

The Iranians will have an expected $100 billion windfall as a result of lifting the international sanctions. This will help the people of Iran, who are currently in a state of stagnation and depravity. According to The World Factbook, unemployment is about 23%, the inflation rate is 42%, industrial capacity is contracting by over 5% each year, and the nation has been in recession since 2012. Furthermore, there is widespread corruption and product shortages. Emigration has led to skill shortages. [4] Half of Iranians “lack adequate money for food, shelter” [11].

Will Iran funnel this cash to their proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere? The CIA has predicted that “Iran is unlikely to spend most of its post-sanctions funds on militants” [5] Iran is currently restless, which ushered in the election of President Ruhani in 2013. Their government would likely use its funds to help its own people.

Furthermore, “U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.” [1]

Iran's Government Today

Iran currently has a theocratic republic. There have been gross human rights violations, such as the killing of dissidents and civilians. Political prisoners have been tortured and killed. Those who are juvenile offenders, curse the Prophet, or engage in any LGBT relations are subject to death. [7] [8]

Indeed, the Human Rights Watch (an NGO) concluded that “Iran’s human rights record has deteriorated markedly” within the last decade or so. [6]

Increased International Engagement

Clearly, Iran ought to reform its economic, political, and judicial institutions. But it is unlikely to do this on its own. Its people are oppressed, and the government is using its oppression to preclude reform as long as it can.

Political scientist Ian Bremmer wrote in his book The J Curve that there is a relationship between a country’s openness and its stability. The idea is that oppressive governments can increase stability by reducing political and social rights. [9]

If Iran becomes open to global commerce and engagement, if Iran benefits from Western investment and soft power, “the likelihood that over a longer period of time the Iranian government opens a little and maybe a lot is much greater.” [10]

If we can place pressure on the Iranian government to reform its institutions – not give them a blank check through isolation – it would help the Iranian people and pressure a hostile government to change.

C5: The Best Option on the Table

We have to consider this situation from a realist perspective. There are clearly two paths the United States can take forward (excluding war). One option is to agree to this comprehensive framework. The second option is the reject the treaty.

Option 1: Accepting the Iran Deal

The benefits listed above will come into play. Iran will have a clearly capped level of uranium enrichment, which is only 1/25th of the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon. The IAEA will have the full ability to inspect all “possible military dimensions” (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear activities. We will have full knowledge of every part of Iran’s nuclear supply chain.

If Iran happens to try and cheat, it will take them about a year to produce a nuclear weapon. To quote nuclear nonproliferation expert Aaron Stein:

“The likelihood of [Iran] getting caught is near 100 percent… it makes the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon in the next 25 years extremely remote.” [12]

The Iranians will also be forced to have greater engagement with the world, which will pressure its population to demand structural reforms.

Option 2: Rejecting the Iran Deal

Iran will continue to enrich weapons-grade plutonium. Iran will be able to produce dozens of nuclear weapons, with zero limitations whatsoever.

Iran will be allowed to have unlimited centrifuges, and they will be allowed to import materials that could be incorporated into their nuclear program.

The status quo has the dangerous possibility of igniting a regional nuclear arms race between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The deal prevents Iran from getting any nuclear weapons, the status quo does not.

Iran will also have a blank check to blame the U.S. and Israel for its suffering.


The Iranian nuclear deal will prevent the Iranians from producing or acquiring a nuclear weapon. It caps enrichment at 1/25th the level of what is needed to produce a nuclear weapon. It cuts their stockpile of enriched uranium by 97%. It reduces their centrifuges by two-thirds and they can only be the rudimentary category – i.e. are the most basic. Furthermore, the IAEA has full access to Iran’s entire supply chain. If they violate these and other conditions, all the sanctions “snap back” into place.

The status quo is to allow Iran to have unlimited uranium enrichment, the ability to produce multiple nuclear weapons, and no limitations on its nuclear infrastructure.





[4] The World Factbook. Version 7.02. Electronic Application. 2014.





[9] The J Curve. Ian Bremmer. 2006. Print.




Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his great response now I'm to disect what I believe is incorrect on his part.

Contention 1: Iran's Nuclear Weapon Capabilities, enforcment, and energy.

As I have shown in my last round Iran has already increased a large amount of enrichment capibility to the point that they might already have a nuclear weapon. They can easily be another North Korea or even another Pakistan. We do not need another rogue nation with nuclear capibility, but a key issue my opponent has failed to observe is that of the Iranians already having nuclear capibility to build 12 nuclear war heads. [1] We can see that we can have easily have worked to get a better deal due to the state of the Iranian economy which I'll get into more depth in my next contention.

Another key thing we could have worked towards would have been a No-Nuclear Iran. Instead we can still create a major nuclear powerhouse in the middle east that already has nuclear capability. No I'm not talking about Israel. I'm talking about Turkey. Turkey has purposed numerious times in the past to create a nuclear powerhouse which would help the Middle East with Turkey at the head. [2] This is a key thing that could have not only increased competition in the Middle East energy industry, but even could have led to a break up of OPEC, which was why a large amount of OPEC nations opposed the bill. This would have anhilated ALL of the Iranian stock-pile which outweighs my opponent's argument and provided effiecent energy to the middle east that is more envirnmental friendly then Oil.

Finally, I would like to expand here on why Iran won't keep it's promise. We can see that throughout the past decade and a half that no matter what sanctions that were placed on them they continued to enrich Uranium. So even though this is what the treaty is "suppose" to do. We can see that if we observe the graph that this won't do a thing. [3]

Let's look at the Snapback for a minute. I would like to first quote John Kerry on the issue.
I want to underscore: If Iran fails in a material way to live up to these commitments, then the United States, the E.U., and even the U.N. sanctions that initially brought Iran to the table can and will snap right back into place. We have a specific provision in this agreement called ‘snapback’ for the return of those sanctions in the event of noncompliance.

Interesting, now let's observe the text from the treaty, "1. The U.S. refers the complaint to a “Joint Commission,” comprising the six P5+1 countries – the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – Iran, and the European Union (E.U.) The Advisory Board has 15 days to provide a “non-binding opinion” on the matter. If it’s still not resolved, the Joint Commission has five more days to consider the Advisory Board’s opinion. This takes the process to at least 35 days." Page 159

Now we must see that this group includes Russia and China. Both of which are Iranian allies. All they have to do is block the "Opinion" and Iran is free to do whatever they please. There is to be nothing to stop them from going back on this treaty.

Contention 2: Bettering Iran and the Options

My opponent neglects to tell you the larger picture. We can easily see that President Obama wanted this deal way more than Iran as there were key points that were added in that was against American interests. A key thing that could have been added into the treaty would have been the releasing of 4 American hostiages from Iran. [4] They are being illegally tortured and malnurished by Iran in their captivity. If Iran was truely open to "Turning over a new leaf" with the West or even pulling a Gadafi by suddenly turning to help the West we can see that this would have been part of the solution, but this did not occur. Another key part that could have been cut out of the deal was getting a better deal. Iran's economy was detteriorating from the sanctions (see graph bellow) that more sanctions could have easily pushed Iran to a collapse. This would have been when the Iranians would have approached the western powers and the allies could have gotten a better deal. The United States could have easily goten a better deal under this situation as the Iranians would have been more desperate.

Finally, my opponent give us two options on the Iran deal, but he fails to realize that the US is able to rewrite the Deal, the Congress has the power to do this and with that in mind we are still able to get a better deal for the Iranian people who want a change in Iran and doing this and changing the deal can help Iran get to a better state. [5]

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As per say the rules, I will focus on rebuttals this round.

R1: Iranian supports international terrorism

Sanctions Relief and Unfreezing Iranian Assets

The framework does lift a multitude of sanctions, and it does unfreeze many overseas Iranian assets foreign financial systems. However, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that “Iran will receive approximately $55 billion in sanctions relief once the nuclear deal is implemented” [1].

The governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Valiollah Seif, was more conservative when he argued, “Though the total amount of foreign reserves is $107 billion, only $26 billion will be usable” [2].

The false estimates fail to account that Iran has to pay for international and domestic loans. For instance, $22 billion in Iranian funds are locked in China, and it “will stay in Chinese savings accounts until the loan and financing facilities are repaid.” Furthermore, Iran’s demand for domestic investment is northward of $500 billion, which far exceeds the windfall from the deal [1] [2].

Would Iran fund Terrorist Proxies?

Iran has the possibility of using its windfall on opposition terrorist groups. Will Iran though? Consider the fact that Syria’s Assad government is slowly crumbling, as shown by its territorial losses below [4]. Iran could use its wealth to support Bashar al-Assad, but it would be “throwing their money away” when Iran desperately needs it.

Here are the basic possibilities for Iran’s government

  • Invest in oil and gas production (requires ~$100 billion)
  • Invest in domestic infrastructure and production (~$500 billion) [1]
  • Cutting the budget deficit (~$19 billion) [7]
  • Funding terrorist proxies in Syria, Lebanon

Western diplomats have argued that Iran will likely use its windfall to “create jobs and revive the country’s dilapidated oil and gas fields” [5]. After all, Iran’s government is highly pressured to improve the economy, and Iran is even facing shortages for oil and gas.

The CIA has reaffirmed this, saying “Iran is unlikely to spend most of its post-sanctions funds on militants” [6].

Also promising, Iran’s President Rouhani has “instructed officials to use [funds] for infrastructure projects and to promote domestic industries” [2].

Bottom Line

Iran could use its windfall to fund militant groups. But given Iran’s appalling economic health and political instability, it seems much more likely that Iran will use its windfall to improve the lives of its own citizens.

R2: Iran’s Threat to the U.S.

A Threat to the U.S. Homeland?

Israeli Prime Minister is simply trying to stoke people’s fears about Iran. He is mistaken. As Defense Analyst Ben Moores has said:

“The Iranian military capability is very weak. They have no real air force. Their navy is relatively weak… the ballistic missile program is ‘inflated’ ” [9].

Furthermore, Iran’s military is seriously outranked compared to our regional partners. Saudi Arabia’s weapon procurement exceeded Iran’s by over a factor of 14 just last year [9]. This isn’t even counting Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, and other nations that are aligned with us.

Furthermore, the following graphic illustrates what restrictions stay in place under the Iran deal.

And if Iran were to ever threaten our national security, they would be wiped off the map. Here is Iran compared to U.S. military bases in the region.

“The nuclear deal makes the U.S. have to protect Iran if it gets attacked by Israel”

I couldn’t find any evidence of this. The best I found was that if Israel attacks Iran, the U.S. would probably go to the U.N. to stop the attacks through a binding resolution [10].

R3: Iran is close to getting the bomb

“Iran is now able to inspect their own facilities”

This AP claim was based on a draft of the agreement. That is why, hours later, AP “substantially altered” the information. [12]

Iran can collect some information at the Parchin site. However, “IAEA staff will monitor Iranian personnel as they inspect the Parchin nuclear site.” [11] The Parchin facility has been dormant for 13 years, is disabled, and according to the United Nations, has “no nuclear production on the site” [12].

If the Iranians were to utilize any uranium, centrifuges, conversion technology, or uranium processing, any and all of these signs would alarm the IAEA which is continually monitoring these and other signals.

“Iran already has a large amount of enrichment capability”

Pro is right that Iran has plenty of enriched uranium and advanced technology. This reality simply highlights the importance of this treaty. This treaty will place new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, and it will mandate that Iran will export the vast majority of its nuclear stockpile, centrifuges, and nuclear infrastructure to the IAEA. This includes all uranium that is enriched beyond 3.67%.

“They could build a new nuclear facility”

Iran could build a new nuclear facility, if it managed to take the following steps

  • Obtain uranium (through the two mines)
  • Acquire advanced conversion technology
  • Acquire uranium enrichment technology
  • Build nuclear reactors

However, the IAEA continuously monitors all these aspects of the deal. This is why if Iran cheats, “the likelihood of getting caught is near 100 percent” according to nonproliferation expert Aaron Stein [13].

As previously mentioned, the IAEA must inspect and approve any imports that could have any possibility of becoming components of Iran’s nuclear program (products with ‘possible military dimensions’ or PMD).

Also, building a new facility would violate the treaty and the snapback provision would kick into play [3].

“Iran won’t keep its promise… Iran is free to do what they please”

If Iran violates a part of this treaty, the dispute goes through the dispute resolution process. One of the final steps of the dispute resolution process is when the issue goes to the U.N. Security Council.

Here is the thing. If the issue goes to the U.N. Security Council… which it will if it isn’t resolved earlier… the issue will have to be resolved through a binding resolution. If China or Russia do anything to prevent a (U.S.) resolution (i.e. nothing happens), all sanctions automatically come back into force after a month [16].

Thus Iran would be back where it started. All the sanctions will still be in effect, but it will have given up 97% of its nuclear stockpile, 2/3rds of its centrifuges, and for what?

“Iran could enrich up only under 20%, then it was you could enrich to 20% for research purposes.”

This claim simply isn’t true! The State Department has said that the highest level of uranium enrichment is 3.67% [14].

R4: Cheap Oil is beneficial for the U.S.

The influx of cheaper crude oil has translated to lower costs for U.S. consumers. On an annual basis, it will increase the real income of the average American household by approximately 3% [15]. This “oil dividend” has benefited the American economy.

Allowing Iran to join the international economy will provide cheaper oil. This will benefit U.S. consumers and the economy at large. Firms will have lower input costs. Only oil producers will suffer, but this is simply the consequence of supply and demand readjusting to prices.

R5: A “Middle Ground” Between Israel and Iran

Israel has nuclear weapons [8], and Iran was willing to take any cost to develop their own. No degree of international isolation, no bleeding from its economy, no threat to its survival would convince it otherwise. Even the modest development on Iran’s side irritated Israel, but the pact reaches a middle ground of sorts. Iran is allowed to have peaceful nuclear energy, while Israel retains its nuclear arsenal.

In the absence of this pact, Iran would have nuclear weapons and this could provoke disastrous consequences for region.

R6: Renegotiating the Deal

Pro says that we can simply renegotiate the deal. This isn’t feasible.

As the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has said, “The Iran nuclear deal has been championed by the president of the United States, every one of America’s European friends and countless other countries around the world. If Congress rejects the deal… we will lose political capital.”

The deal has been agreed to by the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and multiple other nations. We can’t simply fail the deal and start over.

Iran is very close to obtaining a nuclear weapon, and if we fail the agreement, we will be handing it to them.

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[7] The World Factbook. Version 7.02. Electronic Application. 2014.

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Debate Round No. 3


I would like to thank my opponent for this great debate, but now things must come to a close.

Contention 1: Iranian Support of international terrorism.

My opponent claims that I am incorrect, but that is not true as evidence from Wednesday that Iranian backed Hamas had recieved $500 million from Iran and had launched a bombardment of rockets at Israel from Golen Heights. [1] This coming just a little over a month after the breaking of the Iran Nuclear deal and it is not a huge suprise that this would occur as I have been warning of this the entire debate and now it occurs just two days ago to prove my point.

Though Syria may look like a lost cause, but there is a mounting pile of evidence that shows other wise. With ISIS on the rise the Iranian intervention can easily serve Syria's best interest as they control most of Eastern Syria. Putin and the Iranians have pledged to support the Syrians despite any Western involement. Though it may be against Western interests to support Al-Asaad it is in their interests to take out Syria which can be a key involvement for Iran though their motives are different. [2]

Contention 2: Iran is a threat to the US.

"The nuclear program is one issue that we"re hoping to be able to halt, but also we see that Iran is still a state sponsor of terrorism," [John] Brennan said on Fox News Sunday. "And so what we have to do is to continue to keep pressure on Iran and to make sure that it is not able to continue to destabilize a number of the countries in the region." [3]

John Brennan, CIA director has reported that regardless of the deal, Iran will continue to fund terrorism and we need to keep the pressure on them before they continue to harm the US on this matter. Obama himself conceded on the matter that with some of this money will most likely be going to state sponsored terror in Syria or Yemin. [4] Critics have found that even if Iran uses 60% on roads Iran is going to fund terror. Hezbollah leader has even confirmed this himself saying that, "A rich and strong Iran" will be able to stand by its allies and friends, and the peoples of the region, especially the resistance in Palestine, more than in any time in the past." [4]

My opponent claims that he couldn't find anything on the US having to protect Iran, but if I can direct your attention to page 142, we can see that the US and all Western Allies have to protect Iran and their nuclear facilities even against Israel.

My opponent claims that Iran is a very weak military power in the middle east, but if we look at Global Fire Power, a military strength measuring webstie, that according to the CIA that Iran is the 2nd strongest military power in the middle east only behind Israel. Saudi Arabia is third with war torn Syria at forth showing you the weakness of the militaries in the middle east. [5]

Contention 3:Iran is close to getting the bomb.

"Anyone can be trained to do the sampling," said Robert Kelley, the former director of the IAEA nuclear inspections in Iraq in 1992 and again in 2001. But what is more difficult to learn, he said, is how to spot machines and processes that point to militarization of nuclear material. "They [the inspectors] could come out and be questioned about the site and not have any idea about what they saw." [6]

Despite the IAEA being able to inspect Iran we can still see that the IAEA won't be able to inspect Iran properly. We can see that even though the IAEA is able to inspect Iranian soil, but even if they were to inspect something "suspicious" they wouldn't even know what they were looking at and Iran can easily be enriching Uranium and the world would just let it happen.

My opponent is misquoting me. I state that they enriched up to 20% before the deal and what makes us think that we can trust Iran in this case? [6] I have shown in my previous rounds that despite UN and US sanctions the Iranians continued to enrich. Why should we trust Iran to follow through? For all we know is that Iran has either already has the bomb or that they won't follow through. If Russia or China disapproves of the "snapback" there won't be any repercussions outside of the US placing sanctions on Iran which Congress has threatend Iran with.

Contention 4: Oil harming the US

My opponent doesn't understand the long term market. Yes, the oil glut will lower prices of many US goods, but in the long run it hurts US. Why is this you may ask? It for the simple fact that it would force many domestic producers and when OPEC begins to tighten the spicek later the US will suffer. [7] OPEC has stepped up their competition recently due to the emerging of the US drilling again. This is an attempt of them to drive the US out of the oil business leading to higher prices in the long run. Iran's flooding of the market will only harm the US in the long run despite some cheaper goods in the short run. My opponent wants to stop Iran now without worrying in the long run.

Contention 5: Middle Ground

We have to observe that even though Iran wants to get equal nuclear footing with Israel we cannot allow this. As soon as Israel was an independent country much of the Islam world began to fight it. Much of the direct fighting has ended only because Israel had developed Nuclear weapons to scare off the other nations. There has been a decent amount of peace since then. The 6 Day war showed this to a great extent as the war ended once the Middle East discovered Israel's nuclear capability. We cannot allow Iran to get nuclear power as I have shown above that it will only result in Iran getting the bomb and increasing war against Israel.

Contention 6: Renegotiating the Deal.

My opponent is worrying over renegotiating this deal except we have to see that Congress has renegotiated over 200 Treaties in the past and this one would be no different. To further this Congress wouldn't be rejecting the deal, just reworking some of its framework. This already disproves my opponent's impact here. The US can renegotiate and fix all the issues that I have talked about and even completely get rid of the Iranian nuclear power and allow Turkey to become a power in the Middle East. This would also get them closer into the EU which the nation has wanted to but just failed to accomplish. [7]


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Thank you Lannan for this great debate.

R1: Iran and Terrorism

I agree with Pro that Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism. They fund groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria’s military dictatorship.

The Iran nuclear deal will give Iran a windfall of approximately $30 billion. Iran could use this wealth to support its terrorist proxies.

The situation suggests a different outcome though.

(1) The CIA concluded “Iran is unlikely to spend most of its post-sanctions funds on militants” [1]
(2) Iranian President Rouhani has planned to invest the windfall in infrastructure [2]
(3) Syria’s al-Assad government (Iran’s ally) controls less than 33% of Syria’s territory (a lost cause?)
(4) Degraded oil and gas production needs significant investment ($100 billion)
(5) Iranian infrastructure is in terrible shape (needs investment of about $500 billion)
(6) Iran is confronting a heavy budget deficit ($19 billion)

Bottom Line

Iran could fund its terrorist allies. The people of Iran though are going to expect a dividend from this pact, and if Iran acknowledges its weak economy, awful infrastructure, budget shortfalls, product shortages and so forth… Iran will probably use most of its windfall on domestic priorities. That’s why the CIA reaffirmed this hypothesis, and that’s why Iran’s President Rouhani has planned to do just that.

R2: Iran’s hostility to American interests

Preventing a Nuclear Iran

I agree with Pro that a nuclear Iran is against America’s interests. It would further expand the contagion of nuclear proliferation, potentially destabilize a region that provides us with significant energy resources, and it would threaten our allies such as Israel.

There are two paths that lay ahead of the U.S. The U.S. could accept an Iran with nuclear weapons. The U.S. could also accept an Iran with heavy restrictions on its peaceful nuclear energy activities.

If Iran is a threat to U.S. interests – and we can both agree that it is – it is preferable for Iran to have no nuclear weapons, especially if we can seal a deal that makes this the case.

Must the U.S. Defend Iran?

The annex that Pro references is a muddy area. It commits the U.S. and other states to “protect and respond to nuclear security threats.” If Israel attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities would the U.S. have to defend Iran?

This argument demands consideration. Secretary of State John Kerry was ambiguous saying

“I don’t see any way possible that we would be in conflict with Israel … we just have to wait until we get until that point.” [3]

If we assume that yes the U.S. will protect Iran’s nuclear facilities this would only apply if the nuclear facilities were only processing low-enriched uranium. If Iran were to somehow enrich weapons-grade uranium, the pact would become null and void and the annex would be irrelevant.

Iran’s Military

Iran has a considerable military in the context of the Middle East.

However, the same reference shows that Israel’s military strength is about 50% greater than Iran’s (the spread in the “PwrIndx” is equivalent to the difference between the U.S. military and Turkey’s).

Thus Iran’s military may appear strong on paper, but several factors must be considered:

  • Iran’s military is more antiquated (significantly lower levels of weapons procurement)
  • Iran is much more isolated (fewer allies)
  • Israel’s military significantly overpowers Iran’s
  • Iran is surrounded by a multitude of U.S. military bases

R3: Iran is Close to a Nuclear Bomb

“We cannot allow Iran to get nuclear power… [this] will only result in Iran getting the bomb”

Iran is already producing high-enriched uranium. They could produce a nuclear weapon by November 2015. The Iranian nuclear program is running on full speed, and they will be able to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons if we reject the deal.

Furthermore, the State Department has committed that “Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from [its nuclear] reactor[s]” [4].

Enforcement Provisions

The quote the IAEA Director himself:

“The arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our safeguards standards in any way. The Road-map between Iran and the IAEA is a very robust agreement.” [5]

The IAEA has the ability to inspect all stages of the nuclear supply chain, whether it is nuclear facilities, uranium mines, centrifuge production facilities, or suspicious sites.

If Iran were to try and hide nuclear activities, it would be nearly impossible because radioactive traces remain present in the environment for a lengthy period of time.

Downgrading Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities

The pact places a multitude of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program that make it impossible for it to acquire or develop a nuclear weapon within the context of the pact. This is why the deal is so important.

Snapback Provision

If Iran violates the treaty, the dispute goes to the U.N. Security Council. If the U.S. can’t pass a resolution, all sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council automatically kick back into effect 30 days later.

Russia and China can’t do anything to stop this. They could introduce a new resolution to cancel the sanctions permanently, but the U.S. would veto this, nothing would be accomplished, and the snapback would kick in. If the U.S. introduced a resolution to say increase the rate of IAEA inspections and China and Russia vetoed it, no resolution would be passed and by default the snapback would kick back in.

Bottom Line

We can’t trust Iran. They aren’t America’s friend. That is why we have stringent provisions on the table that will make it nearly impossible for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

R4: Iran’s Oil and the U.S. Economy

If Iran is allowed to increase the aggregate supply of crude oil in the international market, it would lower the prices for a wide multitude of goods and services. This is beneficial for the economy at large and for the consumer. The U.S. producers will find ways to react.

We trade with China even though they produce a significant quantity of consumer goods. We trade with South Korea even though they are a major producer of automobiles and heavy industrial products. Trade spurs creative destruction, which ultimately benefits the economy in the long run.

R5: Renegotiating the Deal

“The U.S. can renegotiate… and allow Turkey to become a power in the Middle East”

Iran is willing to sacrifice its economy and health for its nuclear weapons program. This is heavily influenced by the fact that Israel has a nuclear weapons program. They want some level of equality. That is why they have been undeterred in their quest to developing a nuclear weapon.

I suppose we could renegotiate the deal, but that seems unlikely given the fact that many European nations, all other countries in the U.N. Security Council, and other nations have already agreed to the treaty. It seems like the opportunity for renegotiating the deal has passed.

A Better Deal?

Even if we were to renegotiate the deal, it seems incredibly unlikely that we could get anything better. It’s hard to envision that we could pressure Iran to give up the bulk of its nuclear weapons program, to give up its entire capacity to produce nuclear weapons, to allow open and robust inspections, and to furthermore concede that we are keeping many sanctions in place (with regards to human rights abuses, terrorism, etc.). The current treaty has all of these elements and more.

When it comes to getting our hostages back, it would be most feasible to get them back home through different pieces of statecraft.


The U.S. should approve the Iranian nuclear deal. I’ll restate the merits of the pact:

Downgrading Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities

  • Eliminates 98% of Iran’s nuclear stockpile
  • Caps uranium-enrichment to 3.67% (only useable for nuclear energy purposes)
  • Cuts 2/3rds of Iran’s centrifuges
  • Mandates that Iran ships out spent fuel from its nuclear reactor[s]

Heavy Enforcement Provisions

  • IAEA inspections at all parts of the supply chain
  • Iran becomes a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
  • IAEA inspects all imports that have potential military dimensions (PMD)
  • U.S. sanctions for Iran’s terrorism, human rights abuses, etc. will remain in effect
  • Any violation of the treaty will force all sanctions to “snapback” after 30 days

International Engagement

  • Deeper connections to the world will pressure Iran to reform its institutions (J-Curve)
  • More affordable crude oil prices
  • Greater international market opportunities

Given all of these provisions – Iran is prevented from developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon. If we reject the deal, Iran will have nuclear weapons. It is in America’s best interests to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state, and this deal will do this. The Iran nuclear deal benefits the U.S., and the resolution is negated.

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Any arguments without references were sourced in previous rounds.

Debate Round No. 4
51 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Contra 1 year ago
I've never seen a more thorough RFD in my life. Thanks for reading airmax.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
LOL nac
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
>Reported vote: airmax1227// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). RFD in comments. Short version: the crux of this debate came down to Con sufficiently explaining that the treaty has a significant chance of success, and that while Pro effectively shows we should reasonably be concerned, it is not enough to overcome this opportunity to effect the status quo. Con further argues the point that even if some of those concerns argued by Pro come to fruition, there are provisions within the treaty to mitigate the negative consequences. Ultimately then it's hard to concur that the treaty is a mistake, based on the arguments presented in this debate. Argument points to Con.

[*Reason for non-removal*] This vote is more than sufficient, exhaustively analyzing the arguments and showcasing a strong comprehension of the debate. And no, he is not a troll.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 12

I had just assumed for some reason that this was an up/down vote. So just to be thorough, I will explain my reasoning for awarding each of the 4 point categories the way that I did.

1) Who had better conduct?

Both debaters displayed excellent conduct in this debate and therefore conduct is awarded as a tie.

2) Who had better spelling and grammar?

I noticed some spelling errors by Pro, but nothing significant enough that harmed my ability to understand this debate. Otherwise both structured their arguments quite well, and the debate was easy to read and understand. S&G will therefore be awarded as a tie.

3) Who made more convincing arguments?

As explained above, the crux of this debate came down to Con sufficiently explaining that the treaty has a significant chance of success, and that while Pro effectively shows we should reasonably be concerned, it is not enough to overcome this opportunity to effect the status quo. Con further argues the point that even if some of those concerns argued by Pro come to fruition, there are provisions within the treaty to mitigate the negative consequences. Ultimately then it's hard to concur that the treaty is a mistake, based on the arguments presented in this debate.

4) Who used the most reliable sources?

Both debaters sources their argument extremely well. The links for nearly every argument, as well as the organization of sources was well done by both sides. I don't think either side really did much more than the other for sourcing (as they both did extremely well) therefore source points will be awarded as a tie.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 11

I believe both sides do make their points very clearly and certainly do what they can for their positions. Yes Iran isn't a nation we should trust based on Pro's arguments, and will support interests contrary to the west, but a worse scenario is an Iranian nuclear weapon. While Pro is again accurate that a better deal may have been possible, this is too speculative for me to take into account too significantly, and therefore I find it prudent to agree that what is on the table, as Con argues, should be sufficient to meet it's goals.

With the above said, I concur with the arguments that Pro makes that we should be concerned about various factors involved here, but that doesn't negate the need for this attempt at diplomacy. Con further argues effectively that even in the case of an all out failure, the treaty has built-in aspects that should mitigate these problems. If Iran doesn't comply, then we go back to the status quo. Con argues this point effectively, largely negating some of the most significant concerns.

That leaves us with some assumptions. Iran will sponsor anti-Israel groups, but they are less likely to gain a nuclear weapon. Ultimately that seems like, on balance, a victory for the world, and so I have a hard time agreeing based on the arguments present in this debate, that "The Iranian Nuclear Deal is a "mistake.".

I'd like to thank Pro and Con for their work on an excellent debate.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 10

The resolution of this debate is, The Iranian Nuclear Deal is a "mistake.". Pro has to prove that the treaty is ineffective in it's efforts (and possibly harmful), and Con has to prove that the treaty is worthwhile and viable.

In this regard both do a good job with their respective positions. One of the most significant arguments to me that Pro makes is Iranian support for anti Israel/US groups. I don't believe that Con effectively counters this, and the debate is left with a kind of shrugging feeling that yes, this is bad, but that's just how it is.

The oil prices, general Iranian defiance and a lack of trust are all valid points that Pro carries, but I don't believe they have a significant effect on the resolution. Yes these are issues, but in terms of doing what we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, they are worth the risk, and Con paints this picture quite well.

Con explain very well how the treaty is designed to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons capabilities and also explains how enforcement should function. While much of the arguments here are speculative, I'm forced to take at face value what is intended and the arguments each side makes. Pro does what he can to point out the flaws, but Con rebuts these arguments rather well and uses excellent sources to do so.

Ultimately, that's where I am on this debate. Pro is correct (it's insufficiently rebutted and factually correct) on the point that Iran is anti US/Israel and with its economy back on track will fund groups to that end. However the treaty is designed to stop Iran from continuing enrichment, and Cons description of how this will work is very well argued. His arguments sufficiently make the case that the treaty is well designed, and should have a very likely impact in achieving its goals. Due to this, it's hard to view the treaty as a mistake, because the ultimate goal should be as described, preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 9


Each debater does an excellent job of supporting their side. Pro does in fact make the case that the treaty has flaws, and that a better alternative is something that should have been considered. Con convincingly makes his case too, pointing to how the treaty addresses many of these concerns with viable enforcement mechanisms.

Both of these debaters are competent and respectable debaters who should feel proud of the work they have done on this debate. I certainly enjoyed reading it and learned a lot by reading each sides position.

Before explaining why I am going to award the side I am with the points, I just want to say that both sides "won" this debate. Pro makes enough valid arguments to convince me that we should be concerned with the state of things in this treaty, and that this treaty isn't perfect. Con on the other hand assuages me of some of these concerns with, at the very least, well intended portions of the treaty that should mitigate some of what is clearly a problematic nature of anything relating to issues of this sort.

So with that said, I'd like to go through what my final thoughts are, and how I came to the conclusion that I did.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 8

C6: Economic Opportunities

Con argues this arrangement should benefit the economy.

Con doesn't seem to be putting a lot into this argument and it seemed to be dropped by Pro altogether.

This argument goes to Con, but it's not a large factor in this debate.

C7: Benefits to the Iranian People

Con argues this arrangement should benefit the Iranian people.

Again, Pro seems to drop this argument, though he does make a point that another deal could have also benefited the Iranian people.

Based on the broader argument of Pro (an alternate deal) I don't think this significantly favors Con, but I do think he gets the edge slightly.

C8: The Best Option on the Table

Aside from Cons C1, this is perhaps the most important argument in the debate.

On the one hand this treaty (or any treaty) has some effect on the status quo, where with a lack of that (as Con argues) Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapon.

Pro's major rebuttal here is that the US should have sought an alternative that favored the US much more, and didn't consist of the issues he has stated above. Pro may be right that a better deal was/is possible, though con states that this deal does create beneficial circumstances, and that it's unlikely something better would come to fruition.

While I agree with Pro that it's possible the US could have gotten something better, it's hard for me to consider this contention as "this deal versus something better", rather than "this deal versus the status quo". Due to that I have to agree with Con that this deal accomplishes much of what was desired from any such treaty, even if I agree with many of Pro's concerns.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 7

C5: Heavy Enforcement Provisions

Part of the reason the above contention (C4) viewed independently, favors Con ultimately, is because of the great detail he goes into explaining how the enforcement provision are viable. He does an excellent job detailing exactly what the IAEA will be able to do and how Iran will be incentivized by complying with the treaty after inspection measures are taken.

The rebuttal to this is mostly explained in the above portion of C1. Pro broadly explains a lack of trust in Iran and the political problems of enforcement and snapback (which functions as the disincentive for non compliance by Iran).

Again, this issue needed far more focus in this debate (I realize structure and space prevented this from happening at no fault of the debaters). What we know (and what we will assume is true) from information specifically supplied from this debate is that Con details how enforcement is supposed to take place (and he does an excellent job of detailing how far the treaty goes to make sure it will work), Pro says we can't trust Iran, and Con says that the IAEA will make sure that enforcement (via inspections) is done sufficiently and that if Iran doesn't comply that snapback will take place and this shouldn't be a political issue, even if Pro says it will be (per Con's final arguments).

Ultimately then this contention favors Con. The bottom line of C1 and C2 is that Con does argue well that the treaty creates a circumstance whereby Iran will be incentivized to discontinue nuclear weapon capabilities, makes it impossible for them to do so, and that the measures to oversee this should be competent. However, Pro does provide plenty of reasons for concern. So while I do believe Con carries these contentions, Pro does argue well enough to create doubt of what will ultimately come to fruition.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Part 6

Pro continues to argue some tangential points and ultimately makes the case that the US could have gotten a better deal had sanctions been kept in place longer and Iran's economy was on the verge of collapse. While I believe this is an entirely valid point by Pro (if we ignore time factors otherwise), this doesn't really address this contention, even if it is valid in it's own right.

One of the problems I have here is that Con is never able to reply to this rebuttal in much detail. The flow of this argument essentially is as follows; Con's Contention: This is what the treaty intends to do... Rebuttal: There are general problems with trusting Iran, sanctions haven't worked, and the snapback attempts will be insufficient.

In Con's final round he explain why Russia and China wont be able to prevent snapback, and how the IAEA will make sure inspections are sound. These are rather short arguments though, and for such a crucial aspect of this debate, I would have hoped this contention would have been drawn out a bit more - though I do realize that's mostly due to the structure of the debate and not the fault of either of the debaters.

Ultimately I'm conflicted about the results of this contention. Con explains what is intended, and if enforced makes it clear exactly how and why the treaty should work exactly as planned. Pro doesn't clearly make the case that these provisions would fail, but he does provide reasons for concern. Con does his best to assuage these concerns with a short but reasonable reply.

While I wish the debate had focused far more on this issue, because Con replied to the most relevant issues argued here (is snapback viable, will the IAEA inspections be competent) I am inclined to believe this contention favors Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Short version: the crux of this debate came down to Con sufficiently explaining that the treaty has a significant chance of success, and that while Pro effectively shows we should reasonably be concerned, it is not enough to overcome this opportunity to effect the status quo. Con further argues the point that even if some of those concerns argued by Pro come to fruition, there are provisions within the treaty to mitigate the negative consequences. Ultimately then it's hard to concur that the treaty is a mistake, based on the arguments presented in this debate. Argument points to Con.