from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

Iran’s Nuclear Achievement

July 15, 2015

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a great achievement for Iran.

In National Review today I write about the nuclear deal, having read it this morning. Given Iran’s weak bargaining position, what is has achieved is remarkable. The structure of sanctions it took decades to build has been destroyed, but there is no end to the Iranian nuclear program. That program will continue, and eventually grow very large. Meanwhile, the arms embargo on Iran will be lifted after five years--the blink of an eye in international politics--and without requiring any change in Iran’s support for terror or its military actions in the region.

There has been a fundamental shift in U.S. policy toward Iran despite its actions and the nature of its regime. The piece ends as follows:

Iran has won a great victory: A weak country has outmaneuvered and outnegotiated the United States and the EU. Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will probably share a Nobel Peace Prize, which is disgraceful, but Zarif does deserve recognition for producing a far better deal for Iran than he had any right to expect. He owes a huge debt of gratitude to Barack Obama and his view of the world. For the rest of us, the rise of Iran means great danger ahead.
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