Tom Cotton Just Made the Strongest Argument for the Iran Nuclear Deal

04/13/2015 10:28 am ET | Updated Jun 13, 2015
Mark Wilson via Getty Images

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) asserted that the United States could destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure in a several day bombing campaign.

Well, if that is true, then why should he get lathered over the Iran Nuclear Agreement Framework? With the agreement, we have inspectors on the ground, centrifuge limitations in place, and uranium enrichment capped. Without the agreement, we have none of those.

And, with or without the agreement, if Iran cheats, we can destroy their infrastructure with a few days of bombing, according to Cotton.

If Cotton is right, then the risks associated with the Iran Nuclear Deal have largely vanished. The Iran Nuclear deal includes degrading its current enriched uranium, reducing the number and quality of its centrifuges, converting the underground facility to medical isotope production... and inspections. With no deal, we get none of these.

The risk, of course, is that Iran will cheat and "breakout" to develop a bomb within a year or less. But, with the deal in place, we are far more likely to know about it in advance.

With inspectors in place, and then kicked out, we knew in advance that North Korea was developing a bomb. North Korea had thrown out the inspectors, broken the lock on their storage facility for spent reactor spent rods and moved them to their reprocessing plant to produce plutonium.

The Bush/Cheney Administration simply did nothing about it. But, we knew.

Similarly, the Iran Framework Agreement poses far less risk than no deal at all. We are more likely to know of Iran's progress toward a bomb and Cotton says we can knock it all out in several days of bombing.

Cotton needs to explain how, with the firepower he says we have, the Framework Agreement with Iran is a risk.