Iran and the Bomb 2
A New Hope
Who Is Ali Khamenei?
The Worldview of Iran’s Supreme Leader
Why Rouhani Won -- And Why Khamenei Let Him
The Ahmadinejad Era Comes to an Auspicious End
Rouhani's Gorbachev Moment
What Makes a Genuine Reformer?
Getting to Yes With Iran
The Challenges of Coercive Diplomacy
On the Road to Yes With Iran
How to Read the Nuclear Deal
Talk Is Cheap
Sanctions Might Have Brought Rouhani to The Table, But They Won't Keep Him There
Saved by the Deal
How Rouhani Won the Negotiations and Rescued His Regime
Don’t Get Suckered by Iran
Fix the Problems With the Interim Accord
The Nuclear Deal With Iran Was About Trust, Not Verification
Still Time to Attack Iran
The Illusion of a Comprehensive Nuclear Deal
Still Not Time to Attack Iran
Why the U.S. Shouldn't Play Chicken with Tehran
Befriend the Scientists
How to Bring Iran's Nuclear Program Into the Fold
How Israel Can Help the United States Strike a Deal With Iran -- And Why It Should
Bibi the Bad Cop
Can Israel Prevent a Deal With Iran?
Why Israel Is So Afraid
Iran, the United States, and the Bomb
There is nothing surprising about the interim deal with Iran except that it was signed. It is true that one side or the other might have gained a little more had it held out a bit longer, but the benefits would have been slight. For the West, the advantages of the arrangement are obvious: Iran will be a bit further away from gaining the capability to produce a bomb, it will find it harder to cheat in the face of increased inspections, and it will gain some limited and temporary sanctions relief. In addition, each side will have more reason to trust the other.
The objections of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others are really less to the interim agreement than to the ultimate deal that is most likely to result. In terms of the nuclear program, any long-term agreement will look quite a bit like the current one. Although the West will not formally recognize Iran’s “right to enrich,” it will acknowledge its enrichment program, albeit with a number of restrictions. The details have yet to be negotiated, but limits would likely be placed on the number and type of centrifuges Iran could deploy, the level to which it could enrich uranium (to five if not 3.5 percent), and the size of the stockpile it could retain (probably about the same as now). Controls would be placed on Iran’s Arak reactor, perhaps even changing it from a heavy-water unit to a more proliferation-resistant light-water one. Inspections would be ramped up in order to give the world confidence that Iran is not enriching uranium at secret sites, and there would have to be interviews with members of the Iranian unit working on warhead design, including Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
To be sure, success is not guaranteed, especially because of domestic politics in both the United States and Iran. Even under the best circumstances, there will be hard bargaining, especially over what sanctions should be lifted and when. Each side will seek
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