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Parsing the Iran Deal

Posted July 15th, 2015 at 3:23 pm (UTC-4)
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President Obama responds to criticism of the Iran nuclear deal during a news conference Wednesday, July 15

How to Assess the Iran Deal and What to do About It

James Jeffrey – The Hill

The Iran nuclear agreement leaves open more questions than it answers. It clearly is a diplomatic coup for the Obama administration, and enjoys significant international support. But it is far less clear whether this agreement will enhance regional security or even the degree to which it constraints development of dual-use nuclear capabilities. These concerns have plagued the entire negotiating track, with numerous voices pushing for a tougher Western stance vis-a-vis Iran. But now with an agreement, the issue of what it will be is resolved. What now is important is to decide what to do with it.

The Deal is Historic, but the U.S. Must Act Now to Contain Iran

Nicholas Burns – Financial Times

The nuclear deal reached in Vienna on Tuesday is the latest step in a decade-long struggle by the west to contain Iranian power in the Middle East. This is a sensible agreement and far preferable to an Iran unfettered and ever closer to a nuclear weapon. Its great advantage is to freeze Iran’s nuclear efforts for a decade to come.

But it is an imperfect deal. Its effectiveness depends on international inspectors being able to uncover inevitable Iranian cheating and having open access to military sites. It relies on Russia and China sticking together with Europe and the US to insist on full Iranian compliance.

President Obama responds to criticism that the Iran nuclear deal does not address Iran’s terrorist activities.

Iran Deal Leaves U.S. with tough questions

Dennis Ross – Washington Post

The deal with Iran is finally done. Given the stakes, it should be scrutinized. It makes sense to reserve judgment and see how the administration explains all the clauses of the agreement and how they will be implemented. While I look forward to the administration’s full explanation of the deal and its annexes, a number of observations are possible now. First, the outcome appears largely consistent with the framework agreement announced April 2. The most important achievements of the framework remain intact … In practice, these limitations and the verification associated with them make it highly unlikely that the Iranians could divert materials for a covert program or would be in a position to break out to weapons-grade material in less than a year for the eight and a half to 10 years that the restrictions on the number and types of centrifuges apply. And with no reprocessing permitted, a plutonium pathway to a bomb is essentially blocked. That is the good news. The bad news is that the vulnerabilities of the deal — and some of its more worrisome implications — remain as well.

We Got to Yes. Now It’s Time for a Reality Check

Aaron David Miller – Foreign Policy

Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration is excited about the nuclear agreement with Iran. Having spent years in negotiations, I know how hard it is to get anything done — I mean anything, let alone an agreement this complex, with so many moving parts. So in the interests of a reality check, let me offer some politically incorrect observations and inconvenient truths of what two years of negotiations hath wrought.

Israeli Ambassador: The Four Major Problems with the Iran Deal

Amb. Ron Dermer – Washington Post

Israel has long been concerned that the “P5+1” powers would negotiate a bad deal with Iran. But the deal announced today in Vienna is breathtaking in its concessions to an Iranian regime that is the foremost sponsor of terror in the world, is on a march of conquest in the Middle East, is responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of U.S. soldiers, and vows and works to annihilate the one and only Jewish state.

There are four major problems with this deal. First, it leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure.

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