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Obama Wins Round One on Iran

Author: Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
December 4, 2013
Daily Beast


The Obama team has won the first round on the six-month agreement with Iran by a knockout. The phony, misleading, and dishonest arguments against the pact just didn't hold up to the reality of the text. As night follows day, the mob of opponents didn't consider surrender, not for a second. Instead, they trained their media howitzers on the future, the next and more permanent agreement, you know, the one that has yet to be negotiated.

The Saudis lost most gracefully. They simply said this step has been taken and they'll see about the next one. The Israelis lost most tendentiously. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called the interim arrangement "a historic mistake." His minions went further to say that, in retaliation, Israel might well just trash the ongoing private negotiations with the Palestinians, probably the last chance for a treaty in Obama's tenure.

More creatively, American neoconservatives and conservatives are now contending that with his first round, Obama has mortgaged America's future security, conceded Iran's right to a nuclear capability in the second dance, and lost all U.S. leverage. In sum, while the president may not have lost the first round, he has inevitably set the stage for doom in the talks to come.

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