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Confidence Enrichment

The Nuclear Deal With Iran Was About Trust, Not Verification

An Iranian boy holds the national flag with a plastic gun with in central Tehran, March 31, 2008. Morteza Nikoubazl / Courtesy Reuters

It is difficult to judge the nuclear agreement forged last weekend in Geneva as anything other than a good deal. The Iranians will be no closer to having a nuclear breakout capability when the deal concludes than they are today. The amount of money that the Iranians will get is paltry -- about $7 billion total over six months -- especially compared to the roughly $30 billion that Tehran will lose during that period as a result of the sanctions on oil sales and financial transactions, all of which remain firmly in place. The objections that have been raised to the deal so far are either specious or tautological, or require the kind of tenuous conspiracy thinking that we typically disparage when it comes from the Iranians. 

But the deal is only a small step in the right direction. Iran will end up somewhat farther away from developing a nuclear breakout capability,

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