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The Iran Deal After Obama

An Agreement That Endures the Test of Time

U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

On March 21, U.S. President Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge. As Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, explained in a conference after the trip was announced on February 18, “Our objective here is to do as much as we can with the time remaining to make this”—normalization with Cuba—“an irreversible policy.”

Another legacy that Obama might worry about protecting from a potential Republican successor is the nuclear deal with Iran, which took far more political and diplomatic capital to broker. Of course, the difficulty is that Iran evokes far more hostility in Congress than Cuba does. Obama’s opponents have largely limited their disapproval of the Cuba opening to a refusal to lift the embargo, but they have already proposed more than a dozen new sanctions to limit, if not roll back entirely, the nuclear agreement

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