Friday, April 3, 2015

Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal: Winners & Losers - The Daily Beast

Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal: Winners & Losers - The Daily Beast
by Leslie Gelb (President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations)
"The pragmatists are triumphant for the moment, but the hawks are circling. The emerging arrangements on Iranian nuclear programs announced Thursday are a clear plus/plus for both sides. Only those who don’t want any deal see it otherwise.
 The U.S. and its partners in the Swiss talks get a downsizing and overhaul of Iran’s nuclear facilities with strong inspection rights, stretching warning time to counter Iranian cheating from a couple of months to at least a year. Tehran gets the economic sanctions noose loosened. But the pleasant surprise of this latest step toward the June 30 deadline obscures, for the moment, the real winners and losers, the new strategic possibilities and risks.
 The real winners in this round of talks are the realists and pragmatists in both Washington and Tehran, and the losers are the ideologues and hawks. Totally unrealistically, the latter seek outright Iranian capitulation, even at much greater risks of war. The former – and this is critical – think the emerging pact is good, but far from Nirvana. What they really are trying to establish is a strategic dialogue that will open the door to easing dangerous tensions throughout the Mideast.
In private, that’s precisely what leaders on both sides have been saying. The key pragmatists are Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. The Americans are substantially backed in this approach by their negotiating partners – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union.
 What the realists on both sides want is a strategic dialogue that gets at underlying mutual hatreds, distrust, and the volatile issues of the Mideast region. But they can’t get to these strategic priorities without first reaching satisfactory accommodations on the nuclear issue. Politically, the nuclear issue comes first. Only then can they have the needed negotiations on the battles raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and between the Saudi-led Sunnis and the Iranian-led Shiites. Only then, can they get at the now dominant mutual suspicions."

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