The Iran deal was announced today, and your opinion of the deal, should, I think, depend on how likely you thought Iran was, prior to deal, to develop and use nuclear weapons. If you thought Iranian nukes were an apocalyptic scenario, the Iranian nuclear program is likely to be slowed down significantly by the deal, so you should be happy. However, if you didn’t think the Iranian nuclear program was an apocalyptic scenario, the world gave up a faster nuclear timeline for a much richer Iran that can and will act negatively in the world (I would guess highly increasing assistance to Hezbollah, Hamas and Bashar Assad). Since I didn’t think Iran going nuclear was apocalyptic, I think the fact of the Iran deal is bad.
Well, it’s not that clearcut, I suppose. I think the Iran deal is good for Iranian people, of whom there are a lot, so that’s not nothing. The things that I think are bad about the deal are consequences of Iran becoming a richer country while still retaining the Iranian government. The thing is, the Iranian negotiators were not going to agree to stop being the Iranian government as part of the nuclear negotiations. So I think “holding out for a better deal” was never an option. Whether it was possible to retain the sanctions regime further I don’t know: Peter Beinart’s article on the deal hints (via quotes from Europeans) that it would have been hard. So maybe the deal is really the least bad thing that could happen.
Oddly I think pretty much the reverse is true in terms of who likes the deal and who doesn’t from my argument above. And I don’t really see why. My first guess is that basically most of the people who claimed to view Iranian nukes apocalyptically actually don’t, and this claim was a shorthand for “we want to be tough on Iran”. Which, if that was their strategy, I think backfired immensely. As for the people who were not super scared of Iranian nukes but are pro-deal, maybe they are more optimistic about the effect the deal will have on Iran than I am. Jeffrey Goldberg’s article on the deal seems to imply this.
Or maybe I’m just misunderstanding completely. Thoughts? Opinions? Zuuko?