Sunday, November 24, 2013

Iran: a historic deal worth defending | Comment is free | The Guardian

In the most important foreign policy achievement of his years in office (putting aside getting out of Iraq) Barack Obama and John Kerry have helped bring Iran to re-entering the international dialog on constructive terms.  We have been at loggerheads with the country since they overthrew the Shah and the dictatorship we installed there.  This temporary agreement (explained by Obama's  former arms control adviser Gary Samore) is the first really positive development in over thirty years between us and Iran.
Iran is a large country, with advanced education, a great history, and a lot of oil.  It has suffered not only by the isolation its nuclear ambitions engendered, but by its long, bitter war with Iraq.
Many, especially Zionists, convinced of Iran's evil intentions will cry foul.  I agree with Americans for Peace Now that the much greater likelihood is that this change - made possible by the votes of Iranian people - will increase the chances for peace in the mid-east and take off the table the threat of another mid-east war.  - GWC

Iran: a historic deal worth defending | Comment is free | The Guardian:
Editorial - The Guardian
The strongest argument against the nay-sayers – the hawks in Congress, Israel, some Gulf states and also in Iran – is to question what alternative they offer, apart from propelling the Middle East into another war

What took place in the early hours of Sunday morning was arguably the biggest foreign policy achievement of Barack Obama's presidency and the most significant agreement between the US and Iran since the Iranian revolution. If it succeeds, it has the power to reshape the Middle East. If, indeed, decades of hostility with its foe are about to end, America will have to readjust its relationship with its friends. No longer will their interests necessarily override all others in Washington. No longer will they march in lockstep. There is a long way to go before that happens and, as Barack Obama said, Geneva was just a start.

The Geneva accord was only possible after both sides had made significant concessions. Iran agreed to take out of the equation, for now, its stock of 20%-enriched uranium, either by diluting it or converting it to oxide. It can be converted back, although that takes time, but that of itself takes off the table a major proliferation concern. Iran agreed not to install any more centrifuges, and to leave more than half of its existing centrifuges inoperable. It agreed not to fuel or commission the heavy-water reactor at Arak, and to accept daily visits by the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, including at the underground plant it built at Fordow. This not only rolls back a substantial amount of its uranium-enriching capability, it also means that it would be a lot harder to develop a bomb in secret, because the IAEA is now able to check Iran's nuclear fuel cycle at every stage. To build a bomb, Iran would have to build a completely separate covert fuel cycle – a hard task if the country is crawling with inspectors....

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