Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Iran deal is a bad one, but still might be worth it

Thoughts on the Iran deal:

I think many people already had their minds made up, and the actual details of the deal won't change their minds one way or the other. For instance, Netanyahu, and much of the Israeli public. Bibi wasn't going to like any deal, no matter the details. He made that very clear, very early, and for that reason, I don't feel he has much credibility on the details of the actual deal just signed.

As for myself, I don't know enough about the details to judge. I don't have the time to read the entire agreement, nor do I have the expertise to understand all the details. So what I'll end up doing is depend on pundits and commentators I trust and try to glean an informed opinion from them. (Which is what everyone does, mostly.)

Ultimately, the question isn't whether this is a good deal. No deal signed with Iran would be strictly "good". The question is, is this deal better than having no deal at all? That's where the details lie.

Obama's not naive, despite what his detractors claim. He's looking to make the best of a bad situation. Whether he conceded too much or not is the question. I think his intent is not to get a perfect deal (that's impossible), but to bring Iran into the sunlight of international diplomacy and defang them that way, as best as can reasonably be expected. Otherwise, what are the alternatives? Bomb Iran? Create another conflict in a middle east already on fire?

To reiterate, this deal is not a "good" one. No deal could achieve that with a fundamentalist regime. The analysis needs to focus on whether having this deal is better than no deal, taking into account all of the factors I mentioned above.

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