INDIANAPOLIS -- Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar – a longtime leader on nuclear disarmament – says he’s worried about the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the Middle East if Congress kills the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Critics of the Iran nuclear agreement – including Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats – say the period it covers is too short. Coats, for instance, says by allowing Iran to continue any form of nuclear research for the next 10 to 15 years, the country will be significantly closer to developing a weapon by the time the deal expires. But Lugar says a 15-year delay of weapons development is vital.
“We’re at the threshold now of a situation in which Israel is in great peril, but so is Saudi Arabia, so are other Middle Eastern nations that, in the event this deal does not go through, may demand the ability to create their own nuclear power,” Lugar said.
Lugar says rejecting the deal isn’t so simple – he notes that Russia, China, Germany, France and the UK are part of the agreement too.
“The thought that, somehow or other, this is not good enough and therefore the United States rejects it and that therefore the rest of these counties would go along with this, it seems to me is soundly incorrect," Lugar said. "They’ve indicated they will not. This is the deal.”