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Don't Get Suckered By Iran

Authors: Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, and Mitchell B. Reiss, President, Washington College, and Former Director of the Office of Policy Planning, U.S. State Department
January 2, 2014
Foreign Affairs

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Passionate supporters of the interim accord recently negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 countries (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany) see the agreement as a landmark event paving the way for a full-scale resolution of one of the world's most dangerous problems. Harsh critics take the opposite view, seeing it as a modern-day Munich paving the way for an eventual nuclear Iran. Both positions are overblown. On the plus side, the Joint Plan of Action does place some temporary constraints on Iran's nuclear activities. But these short-term palliative measures are embedded in a framework of principles that may define the final agreement to Iran's definite advantage. As negotiations proceed over what should follow the current accord, Washington should try to revisit some of interim agreement's provisions and broaden the scope of negotiations to include Iran's sponsorship of terrorism and its systemic violation of human rights. It would be a grave error to allow the Islamic Republic to emerge from the negotiations with its nuclear ambitions intact, its terrorist activities undiminished, and its people denied their basic rights.

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