Recently, while speaking at the University of Louisville (KY), Hillary Clinton lied to justify the third START treaty.
This post refutes her lies.
Clinton “touted the new START Treaty with Russia as a way of pressuring Iran to curb its nuclear aspirations.” In other words, Clinton falsely claimed that the START-III treaty will allow America to pressure Iran to “curb its nuclear ambitions”. It will not. It will not pressure Iran anyhow, nor legally oblige it to curb its nuclear program, nor technically cause it to do so, nor cause other countries to pressure Iran.
As Clinton herself admitted, treaties that reduce the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia will NOT persuade Iran nor North Korea to curb their nuclear programs or forfeit them. (Technically, Clinton admitted that they’re unlikely to persuade Iran and North Korea to curb their nuclear programs or forfeit them.)
“Efforts to cut the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia are unlikely to persuade Iran or North Korea to change their behavior, she said.” But, she added, “I believe they could” help persuade other nations to support “serious sanctions” against Iran.
But contrary to what Clinton claimed, the policy of reducing the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia will NOT convince nor help to convince other countries to endorse “serious sanctions”, or any sanctions of any kind, against Iran.
The countries that oppose sanctions against Iran, e.g. Russia and China (the two opposed permanent members of the UNSC), because these countries will NOT be impressed nor convinced by that policy, nor will they consider it credible, nor will they forfeit their huge vested interests (e.g. commercial stakes) in Iran, which has huge oil reserves and NG reserves as well as a large export market (70 mn Iranian citizens and the Iranian military, which buys weapons from Russia).
So neither the UNSC nor ANY other institution will EVER approve “serious sanctions” against Iran.
But even if it DID convince Russia and China to back sanctions against Iran (it won’t), it’s nonetheless utterly unacceptable because it will significantly weaken the US military by reducing the American nuclear arsenal to a tragically inadequate size (only 1550 nuclear warheads, the lowest size since the 1950s), and the number of means of delivery to a tragically inadequate level (only 800).
Clinton lied that “There are times when people of good will and great intellect have diverging views on how to deal with complex issues, but I don’t think this is one of those times.” This IS one of those times. Many Republican Senators are reluctant to vote for the START treaty.
Clinton lied by saying “The only way we think we are going to convince the Iranians to give up nuclear weapons is if they conclude they will be less safe with them than without them and that their economy and their society will suffer sufficiently that the tradeoff is no longer worth it to them”. No one can convince the Iranians to give up their nuclear program. There’s no method of convincing them to surrender their nuclear program. There’s no way to convince them to stop developing nuclear weapons. They will NEVER surrender their nuclear program.
It’s also impossible to convince the Iranians that “they will be less safe with them than without them and that their economy and their society will suffer sufficiently that the tradeoff is no longer worth it to them”. They believe (and rightly so) that they will be safer nuclear weapons than without them. If the Iranians acquire nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons will make it impossible for Western countries and Israel to attack Iran.
The START-III will not make Iran any less safer or less prosperous than it is today.
Regardless of that, however, this START treaty, like all other arms reduction treaties, is utterly unacceptable, because it legally obliges the US to severely reduce its nuclear arsenal and its arsenal of delivery systems (and to forfeit the development of the missile shield), i.e. to severely weaken its military.