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Case against Iran deal is compelling

Just four Democrat U.S. senators plan to vote against President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear weapons deal with Iran. While they are few in number, the case they make against the plan is based in facts and reality – not the wishful, partisan thinking that motivates so many who favor the pact.

Here are the four lawmakers’ basic concerns:

Even though the deal would place some limits on Iran’s development of nuclear weapons for 10-15 years, “after that term, Iran will be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in a very short period of time,” West Virginia’s Joe Manchin has added.

“Worse, Iran would be economically strengthened by frighteningly quick relief from sanctions and international economic engagement. If Iran violates the agreement, building international support for new sanctions would take too long to be effective,” Maryland’s Ben Cardin wrote.

“Even more troubling is the fact that the U.S. cannot demand inspections unilaterally,” New York’s Chuck Schumer has added. Approval from other parties to the arrangement – which include Russia and China – would be required.

Schumer also cites the lack of any agreement by Iran to stop sponsoring terrorist groups.

New Jersey’s Bob Menendez points out a critical flaw in Obama’s argument that economic sanctions can “snap back” into place if Iran cheats. Any new sanctions – perhaps over terrorism – would relieve Iran of its commitments on nuclear weapons.

Democrat senators who have said they will vote in favor of the measure should pause to reconsider, based on the thoughtful positions taken by Manchin, Cardin, Schumer and Menendez. Manchin put that imperative well a few weeks ago:

“If we get this wrong, we could light the fuse for the third world war.”