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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — Critics of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, both in the U.S Congress and the Israeli government, need to answer a question: Is there a better alternative?

Even before we know all the details of the agreement hammered out in Geneva this weekend, there’s reason to worry about an interim accord that eases a few of the painful economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for Iran’s freezing its drive to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian regime has been untrustworthy for decades, and the desire for a nuclear bomb is a source of national pride and a security interest.

Yet there is a much different tone since the election of President Hassan Rouhani: The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has slowed its efforts to convert nuclear power to a bomb. This is progress; it also alters the options, notes Robert Einhorn, a former top State Department policy maker on Iran and nonproliferation.

Einhorn, now at the Brookings Institution, laid this out in a speech to an Israeli research organization last month. A perfect deal, as desired by the Israelis, isn’t attainable, Einhorn said, in evaluating any interim pact; “the better test is how it compares to alternative means.”

There are three: Retain or toughen sanctions; actively work to change the regime, or use military force, war. The economic sanctions have brought Iran to the negotiating table. Its oil revenue over the next six months will be $25 billion less than three years earlier, and trade and financial transactions have been curtailed.

Congressional Action

There is considerable support in Congress for toughening the sanctions, pressuring Iran for more concessions, but there is little support elsewhere, Einhorn said. If Congress acted unilaterally, the result could be an acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program and more power for the hardliners, he added.

“Don’t think for a moment that toughening the sanctions would cause the collapse of the ayatollahs’ regime,” said Les Gelb, a former U.S. diplomat and prolific writer about foreign policy.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • infadelicious

    throwin’ Israel under the bus. Always a great deflection away from the epic failure of obozocare……..

    • daniel bostdorf

      “ever will be a troll you are…”

      Yoda, Jedi Master

  • infadelicious

    it’s what he does…………

    • daniel bostdorf

      “troll you are and ever will be….”
      Yoda, Jedi Master

  • sigrid28

    Let’s not forget that “America’s Least-Bad Option” with Iran calms the waters for Syrian peace talks in Geneva beginning January 22 under the auspices of the UN, to include for the first time representatives of both sides in the conflict. Sometimes to untie a stubborn knot you have to loosen up the whole thing first–easy to pull it tight again, harder to find that one string which leads to a satisfactory resolution.

  • daniel bostdorf

    Netanyahu and his conservative party (similar to the USA Teaparty) simpy
    cannot realize that Iran and Syria are the key to preventing an attack
    on Israel and vice-a-verse.

    the no-nonsense diplomatic approach by Obama and kerry, backed by
    significant military intelligence, has forced the hand of the Iranian
    religious leaders and their puppets who are “elected” President.

    Assad’s days are numbered as well.

    Level headed, non bombastic solutions are need by Israelie government, not Netanyahu’s right wing fear mongering.

  • howa4x

    Hillary said it best when she was asked what she would do as president if Iran attacked Israel with a nuke. She calmly said we would annialate them. With an arsenal of over 5000 multiple warhead missiles does anyone really think Iran would attack an ally with a nuke? Plus we are the only country to ever use them 2x on a civilian population. That should scare the crap out of anyone.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Could you please specifically cite the web page where Hillary said this? I found none.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Oh I get it—the very outdated 2008 youtube Countdown April 21 2008 video…that is 2008 not 2013….

      Time to give Hillary bashing a rest….

      • howa4x

        She said it during the campagin

        • daniel bostdorf

          she stated it on a 2008 — i repeat 2008–youtube video shot during 2008 campaign….that is NOT HER VIEW today in 2013—i repeat 2013…

          • howa4x

            I’m not trying to bash her. Just putting the Iran deal in perspective to the Neocons who think they are a nuclear threat to us

          • daniel bostdorf

            thanks for clarifications 🙂

    • daniel bostdorf

      On October 13th, Ms. Clinton gave this interview and thoughts about Iran nuclear talks: