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Stay the Dogs of War on Iran

Author: Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
November 20, 2013
Daily Beast


No honest person can know whether the nuclear negotiations with Iran will produce a sound agreement, least of all the know-it-alls who are fighting to prevent it. Maybe, the West will have to further strengthen economic sanctions. Perhaps, Iran will make threatening moves that justify a Western military strike. But the arguments against a full and serious drive to try staying the dogs of war are sheer, dangerous nonsense.

The upside is a short-term deal that would lead to the Mideast equivalent of ending the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The deal could reduce, even sharply, the biggest threat to regional peace, an Iranian nuclear bomb, and open paths to taming dangerous conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. And under the proposed deal, reportedly the only price to be paid for this would be giving Tehran a few billion dollars of its own money. No sanctions would be lifted that could not be quickly reimposed. Almost all of the U.S. sanctions regime would be totally unaffected. Those are the facts that opponents of a deal simply either ignore or lie about.

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