Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks with the media during a news conference in Tehran, June 2013.
Majid Hagdost / Reuters

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.

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  • ROBERT JERVIS is Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University and a member of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies.
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