Our choices with Iran -- peace or war

August 24, 2015

The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once famously said, “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.” History proves Rabin right time and again, and even provides fair warning for those who don’t follow his advice. Because inherent in Rabin’s words is the choice faced by any society confronting an adversary: It’s either peace, or it’s war.

No adversary makes that clearer than Iran. The Iranian regime has fermented turmoil around the world for more than three decades. They openly threatened to wipe Israel off the map, and remain the leading state-sponsor of terrorism more than 30 years after first being placed on the State Department’s watch list. Their regime commits brutal human rights violations, including judicially sanctioned amputations and floggings, severe restrictions on speech and press, as well as discrimination and attacks against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBT individuals. Worst of all, Iran’s illicit nuclear work and past obstruction of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has created an untenable status quo: A tyrannical regime a few technological advancements away from its most horrific ambitions, and an international community unable to monitor its progress.

Given all of this, skepticism over any nuclear deal with Iran is understandable. But this isn’t about negotiating with a wolf in sheep’s clothing – it’s about defanging that wolf. If the deal holds, we will have the most intrusive, effective and verifiable checks against Iran’s nuclear ambitions ever implemented. This deal doesn’t just make it hard for Iran to make a nuclear weapon; it cuts off all possible pathways.

Read Rep. Grijalva's full Op-Ed in the Tucson Daily Star here.