Editorials/Op-Eds Supportive of Negotiations/Administration

Editorials/Op-Eds Supportive of Negotiations/Administration

The following op-eds and editorials present a generally favorable or supportive outlook towards the ongoing negotiations between the P5+1 countries and Iran over its nuclear program:

September 15, 2015: David Ignatius – How the Iran deal became the most strategic success of Obama’s Presidency

“The political circus surrounding the Iran nuclear deal shouldn’t obscure the fact that President Obama won an enormous victory in negotiating the agreement and mustering the necessary congressional votes to sustain it. It’s the most determined, strategic success of his presidency.”

 

September 12, 2015: Larry Hanauer – Congress should monitor Iran deal, not keep trying to kill it

“Congressional opponents of the agreement with Iran have so far focused on how they could derail it. That battle is over. If their goal is Iranian compliance, Congress should now allow the JCPOA to go forward, monitor its implementation carefully, and then respond to Iranian behavior with further incentives that reward Tehran for complying or penalties that punish it for failing to do so. To continue working ceaselessly to undermine the deal at this point works against that goal since it would undermine the credibility of the United States and – because other countries will relax sanctions regardless of what Washington does – give Iran the opportunity to reap economic benefits while continuing its nuclear program.”

 

August 31, 2015: Madeleine K. Albright – Iran Deal is a Win-Win

“I teach my students that foreign policy is persuading other countries to do what you want. The tools available to accomplish this include everything from kind words to cruise missiles. Mixing them properly and with sufficient patience is the art of diplomacy, a task that for the United States has proved challenging even with our closest allies, and altogether necessary with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

 

August 30, 2015: Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar – There Are No Perfect Nuclear Deals

“During the Cold War both Republican and Democratic presidents accepted less-than-perfect arms pacts with the Soviets. We need to do the same with Iran.”

 

August 20, 2015: Tom Z. Collina  Debunked: Chuck Schumer’s Failed Case against the Iran Nuclear Deal

“Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced this month that he would oppose the international agreement to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb, the first Democrat in the Senate to do so. “I believe we should go back and try to get a better deal,” Schumer said. “The nations of the world should join us in that.””

 

August 20, 2015: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson – The Isolated States of America

“Rejection means the U.S. is alone. No one else, not even Britain, will follow us. We will be acting entirely unilaterally, without friends or allies (with the exception of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). And those who claim that we can simply return to sanctions are hopelessly blind to reality. No one will be with us – absolutely no one. The sanctions will be unilateral and even more feckless than they were before diplomacy achieved comprehensive participation in them. We will be the isolated state.”

 

August 14, 2015: Richard Lugar and J. Bennett Johnston – Why we disagree with Chuck Schumer on the Iran deal

“Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a key voice in the Democratic Party leadership, has announced that he will not support the international agreement designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We realize that all senators must balance their concerns about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action against the consequences for the United States if Washington rejects it. We just do not agree with how the senator balances up the account. Here’s why:”

 

August 13, 2015: Cark Levin and John Warner – Why hawks should also back the Iran deal

We both were elected to the Senate in 1978 and privileged to have served together on the Senate Armed Services Committee for 30 years, during which we each held committee leadership positions of chairman or ranking minority member. We support the Iran Agreement negotiated by the United States and other leading world powers for many reasons, including its limitations on Iran’s nuclear activities, its strong inspections regime, and the ability to quickly re-impose sanctions should Iran violate its provisions.”

 

August 13, 2015: Yageneh Torbati – Iranian Americans Find Unity in Backing Nuclear Deal

On the day U.S. and Iranian negotiators reached a historic nuclear agreement last month, Hadi Partovi threw an impromptu party in his backyard outside Seattle, setting in motion a rare expression of solidarity among the country’s most prominent Iranian-Americans.”

 

August 12, 2015: Nazee Moinian – I am a Jewish Iranian-American in favour of the nuclear deal

“As an Iranian Jew raised in Tehran, educated in the United States, and a frequent visitor to Israel, the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran has pulled me in different directions.”

 

August 10, 2015: Kelsey Davenport – Why Schumer is ‘Technically’ Wrong About the Iran Deal

 

“On Thursday, Aug. 6, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) came out against the negotiated nuclear agreement between the United States, other world powers, and Iran. If implemented, the deal will block Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons for well over a decade and put in place more intrusive monitoring to guard against covert activity permanently. In his statement, Schumer said he would vote in favor of a resolution disapproving the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that was negotiated on July 14.”

 

August 9, 2015: Samuel Berger – ‘No’ to Iran Means No Forever

“There is a notion cultivated by opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement, attractive to members of Congress under intense pressure to vote no, that congressional rejection of the agreement will enable U.S. negotiators to reach a better deal. The expectation is, that with a further turn of the screws, we can pressure the Iranians to give more and/or we give less. But it can’t happen.”

August 7, 2015: Robert Wexler – Is the U.S. better able to fend off a nuclear-armed Iran with or without the deal?

“As members of Congress evaluate the nuclear agreement with Iran, there is one test that trumps all others: Is the United States better able to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran with or without the deal?”

August 1, 2015: International New York Times Editorial Board –  Republican Hypocrisy on Iran

“The exaggerations and half-truths that some Republicans are using to derail President Obama‘s important and necessary nuclear deal with Iran are beyond ugly. Invoking the Holocaust, Mike Huckabee, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, has accused Mr. Obama of marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.” Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas, has compared Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped negotiate the deal, to Pontius Pilate.”

 

July 31, 2015: Vali Nasr  – Why did Iran sign on to a deal that will weaken its regional hold?

“Opponents of the nuclear agreement with Iran see it as a license for Tehran to wreak havoc in the region. Freed from economic pressure and flush with financial resources, the thinking goes, Iran can be expected to unleash its emboldened minions upon Israel and Arab states and undermine U.S. interests. However, contrary to what the critics say, the nuclear deal is far more likely to curb Iran’s regional ambition. It is rather the instability that would follow the failure of the deal that should worry them.”

 

July 30, 2015: Roger Cohen – One Congressman’s Iran

“Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan and the longest-serving Jewish member of the House, said something important this week: “In my view, the only anchors in public life are to dig deeply into the facts and consult broadly and then to say what you believe.”’

 

July 30, 2015: Nicholas Kristof – Why the Naysayrs are Wrong About the Iran Deal

“Mike Huckabee says President Obama is using his nuclear deal to “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Mitt Romney describes it as a “generational calamity.” And while polls diverge, one recently taken by CNN suggests the public wants Congress to reject the agreement by a 52 percent to 44 percent majority.”

 

Joe Cirincione, Israel Ambassadors Support Deal with Iran: July 27, 2015

“A day after Mike Huckabee said that President Obama was “marching the Israelis to the door of the oven,” former U.S. ambassadors to Israel strongly supported the nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers. The ambassadors joined with former under secretaries of State in a letter to congressional leaders applauding the agreement to shrink, freeze and monitor Iran’s nuclear program. They urged those against the deal to consider carefully the consequences of such an action. ”

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July 22, 2015: Sharon Nazarian – Iran: ‘This deal is not the last step’

“I have three identities: I’m Iranian, I’m American, and I’m Israeli. Historically, what that has meant is that there are very few places in the world that I’ve found where all my identities have been welcome. Actually, through my extensive travels, including Afghanistan, North Korea, South Sudan and many other countries, the only place where all my sides were liked was Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. The Iraqi Kurds love the U.S. for granting them protection and semi-autonomy from Saddam; love Iran, because many who fled Saddam’s attempted genocide were welcomed into Iran and allowed to take refuge there; and quietly, they love Israel (maybe admire is a better word) because Israel secured  a homeland that is now powerful and irrefutable.”

 

Hiyatollah!: July 18, 2015

“IT WAS historic: everyone can agree on that. But whereas some say the deal done in Vienna this week between Iran and six world powers plus the European Union was a breakthrough that keeps nuclear proliferation at bay and begins to mend a 36-year feud with America, others are convinced it was, as Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, says, a “stunning historic mistake” that sets up Iran as a nuclear power and finances its aggression abroad. Which of those is closer to the truth depends on two things: the quality of the agreement and its effect on Iran’s behaviour.”

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Alex Vatanka, The Post-Iran Deal Mystery: What Will Khamenei Do?: July 17, 2015

“The American public remains justifiably anxious about Iran’s nuclear program. No one in Washington expects that the nuclear agreement announced on July 14 will be a quick fix to thirty-six years of bad blood between Washington and Tehran. But polls show a plurality of Americans still support diplomacy with Iran over military confrontation. If I were sitting in Tehran, I would zoom on this twist as a timely opportunity. On the other hand, the American side should not expect any big policy U-turns, but encourage Iranian moderation whenever possible. This is what both sides need to do to make the nuclear deal survive the Obama presidency.”

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Patrick J. Buchanan, Rejecting the Iran Deal Would be GOP Suicide: July 17, 2015

“From first reactions, it appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal. They will then vote to override President Obama’s veto of their resolution. And if the GOP fails there, Gov. Scott Walker says his first act as president would be to kill the deal.”

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Fareed Zakaria, Don’t Expect Iran to Change Overnight: July 16, 2015

“In selling the nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration has been careful to point out that it is just an agreement on nuclear issues. “[The deal] solves one particular problem,” President Obama explained in his news conference on Wednesday. And supporters and critics alike are quick to suggest that this move is quite different from Richard Nixon’s opening to China, which transformed China and its relations with the world. Iran, after all, is a rogue regime that chants “Death to America” and funds anti-American terror across the Middle East.””

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The Times Editorial Board, Is the Iran Deal Good Enough?: July 15, 2015

“In the flush of diplomatic victory, President Obama on Tuesday exulted that an international agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program “makes our country and the world safer and more secure.” But given’s Iran past prevarications about its research, Obama must provide skeptics in Congress and elsewhere with detailed assurances that Iran won’t be able to receive the benefits of the deal while evading its obligations.”

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Thomas L. Friedman, Obama Makes his Case on Iran Nuclear Deal: July 14, 2015

Only hours after the conclusion of an agreement with Iran to lift oil and financial sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, President Obama is a man who evinces no second thoughts whatsoever about the deal he struck. In a 45-minute interview in the Cabinet Room, the president kept stressing one argument: Don’t judge me on whether this deal transforms Iran, ends Iran’s aggressive behavior toward some of its Arab neighbors or leads to détente between Shiites and Sunnis. Judge me on one thing: Does this deal prevent Iran from breaking out with a nuclear weapon for the next 10 years and is that a better outcome for America, Israel and our Arab allies than any other alternative on the table?

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Alireza Nader, Iran deal not a Panacea, but a Pragmatic Necessity: Column: July 14, 2015

“The nuclear agreement signed between Iran and theP5+1 (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany) will remain a point of contention in Washington for many years to come. Supporters of the deal claim that it will effectively constrain and roll back Iran’s nuclear efforts while providing space for meaningful change in Iran. Critics claim that the deal leaves most of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact and does not compel the Iranian government to change its regional policies and behavior at home. The nuclear agreement is not perfect and certainly does not attain the ideals of either side. However, on balance, it prevents Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability in the near future while giving some space for Iranian proponents of change. The nuclear deal is a pragmatic necessity rather than a panacea.”

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Dennis Ross, Iran Deal Leaves U.S. with Tough Questions: July 14, 2015

“The deal with Iran is finally done. Given the stakes, it should be scrutinized. It makes sense to reserve judgment and see how the administration explains all the clauses of the agreement and how they will be implemented.”

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The Editorial Board, An Iran Deal that Reduces the Chance of War: July 14, 2015

The final deal with Iran announced by the United States and other major world powers does what no amount of political posturing and vague threats of military action had managed to do before. It puts strong, verifiable limits on Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon for at least the next 10 to 15 years and is potentially one of the most consequential accords in recent diplomatic history with the ability not just to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but also to reshape Middle East politics.”

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Graham Allison, Why the Best Arguments Against an Iran Deal Are All Wrong: July 8, 2015

“Diplomats are extending Iran nuclear negotiations into overtime this week, and American lawmakers are preparing for mandatory congressional review. As they decide whether to vote yes or no on a possible deal, they should remember the sage advice of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who observed that the “most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do.” I have a framed version of that quotation in my office and try to think about it every day.”

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Dennis Ross, On Iran, Worry About the Deal, Not the Deadline: July 6, 2015

“Just as June 30 turned out not to be a true deadline for the Iranian nuclear talks, it would be wise to treat July 7 — the extended deadline — much the same way. The Obama administration should make clear that it is prepared to conclude a deal at any time, provided it is fully consistent with the framework understanding from April; anything less, and there will be no deal. If the Iranians insist on trying to walk back or redefine the framework understanding, they will not only stretch out the negotiations but will lead us to harden our own position and impose new conditions.”

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Dalia Dassa Kaye: The Middle East After Vienna: Here’s What Will Happen If the Iran Deal Falls Through: July 7, 2015

“ Iranian and P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany) negotiators in Vienna seem to be on the brink of reaching an agreement to significantly limit Iran’s nuclear program and place it under strict international monitoring. But what if they fail to bridge their differences in the final hours? Or what if the U.S. Congress scuttles a deal down the road—a less likely but still worrying outcome? Indeed, with the principle that “no deal is better than a bad deal” likely to dominate any congressional debate, it is a good moment to examine what the Middle East might look like without a nuclear deal.”

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Graham Allison, Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History: July 7, 2015

“As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties,  including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.”

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Joe Cirincione, Overwhelming Expert Consensus Favors Agreement with Iran: July 6, 2015

“There is an overwhelming consensus among non-proliferation, nuclear policy, and national security experts that a negotiated accord is the best, and likely the only, way to ensure that Iran never builds a nuclear weapon. But you would not know that if you relied on congressional hearings or most media coverage of the negotiations.”

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Graham Allison and Gary Samore, The Iran Op-Ed’s Fatal Flaw: July 2, 2015

“As nuclear negotiations with Iran stretch into early July, scholars and politicians have published a stream of analyses of the costs, benefits and risks of a deal. The winner of our prize of the week for confusing and clouding public debate on this critical issue is an op-ed published in The New York Times on June 23, “The Iran Deal’s Fatal Flaw.” (Despite a certain hesitancy about criticizing colleagues,  this example was so clear a winner that we are making an exception.)”

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Alireza Nader, Who Benefits from Iran Sanction Relief?: July 2, 2015

“A final nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany) could lead to substantial sanctions relief and economic benefit for Iran. More than $100 billion of Iranian oil proceeds are “frozen” in foreign bank accounts under the current sanctions regime. The repatriation of Iran’s money would no doubt boost a flagging economy.”

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Frank von Hippel, A Really Good Idea: Multinationalize Iran’s Enrichment Program: June 30, 2015

“A major focus of criticism of the proposed deal with Iran is that the limitations on Iran’s uranium enrichment program will phase out after ten years. This is a valid concern and, if the deal is concluded, it should come with a commitment by the parties to start immediately on a plan to assure that Iran’s enrichment program does not reemerge as a threat to regional stability.”

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The Editorial Board, Ayatollah Khamenei’s Fateful Choice: June 24, 2015

“In the 13 years since Iran’s nuclear program was discovered, the Iranians have worked to keep the program alive and the major powers at bay. Now they are jeopardizing the nuclear agreement that would benefit them and the security of the region. The agreement, under negotiation with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, is supposed to be completed on June 30, though a delay is now considered likely.”

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Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, Resolving the Iran Transparency Gap: June 24, 2015

“With the June 30 deadline for Iran nuclear talks looming, the fate of a comprehensive final deal hinges on the abilities of both sides, i.e., Iran and the world powers, to bridge the existing gaps that threaten the talks. Despite reports of solid progress in drafting the final agreement, the remaining obstacles might cause a further extension of the deadline, given the technical, legal, and political complexities, one of which pertains to the West’s demand that the final deal must include intrusive inspections and access to Iran’s scientists; the latter pertain to what the UN’s atomic agency has labeled as “Possible Military Dimension” (PMD) to Iran’s nuclear program.”

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David Perel, Negotiate with Iran over Nukes, or go to War: June 23, 2015

“Michael Oren manages to pour every villainous country, from North Korea to Nazi Germany, into his opposition to an international agreement containing Iran’s nuclear program. In reality the issue is simply whether, with reasonable monitoring, an agreement emerges that will adequately restrict or prevent Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. (“Why Obama is wrong about Iran being ‘rational’ on nukes,” op-ed, June 19)”

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Richard Nephew, Calibrating the Risk of Iran Sanctions Relief: June 16, 2015

“It is now taken as a given by many that, upon completion of a comprehensive nuclear deal, Iran will plow its hard-won sanctions relief into regional adventurism. Having dealt with the nuclear issue, Tehran will secure its real ambition of regional domination.

This narrative is powerful, compelling, and frightening. It is also not true.”

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Gary Samore, Is the Iran Nuclear Deal Good for the U.S.?: June 18, 2015

“International negotiators led by the U.S. and Iran must resolve a number of critical issues to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement by the self-imposed deadline of June 30. But the debate in Washington has already become polarized. Supporters of the emerging final agreement assert that it shuts down Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. Opponents claim it paves the pathway for an Iranian bomb. Supporters hope that the deal will empower Iran’s pragmatic factions to pursue reform. Opponents–and U.S. allies and partners in the Middle East–fear the deal will fuel Tehran’s support for terrorism and ambition to dominate the region.”

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Robert G. Gard Jr. and Angela Canterbury, Give Iran Negotiators Space to Work: June 11, 2015

“Now that President Barack Obama has signed a bill giving Congress, at its request, greater oversight authority over any potential Iran nuclear agreement — including the explicit opportunity to vote down the deal — the cacophony from those opposed to diplomatic negotiations with Iran has reached a new high.”

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Robert Einhorn, Engame in Iran Negotiations: the Choice is Tehran’s: June 9, 2015

“Now that the Corker-Cardin legislation has been adopted without poison pills attached, it is virtually certain that Congress will be unable to block President Obama’s ability to conclude and begin implementing a nuclear agreement with Iran that he believes meets U.S. requirements. The main domestic impediment to a deal lies in Iran.”

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Rev. Robert Moore and Richard Moody, To Prevent War with Iran, Remember Deceptions of War with Iraq: June 6, 2015

“The question recently was raised to presumed presidential candidate Jeb Bush whether, knowing what he knows now, he would have started a war with Iraq, as his brother, President George W. Bush, did in 2003. His initial answer, on which he flip-flopped a number of times in the days following, was yes.”

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Jonathan Alter, Obama Bets it All on the Mullahs: June 4, 2015

“The moment of truth for U.S.-Iranian relations—and for President Obama’s foreign policy legacy— is nearly upon us. With a June 30 deadline looming for the nuclear talks, we’ll learn soon enough whether Obama’s poker skills are good enough to keep the two countries off the path to war.”

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George J. Mitchell, Iran nuclear talks strike the right balance: May 18, 2015

“Negotiators from the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany are in the final phase of their effort to reach agreement with Iran. Their goal is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a direct threat to Israel and could undermine a half-century of nonproliferation efforts, led by the United States. Although dozens of countries are capable of developing nuclear weapons, only nine have so far chosen to do so. Iran must not be the tenth. There are two ways to achieve that goal: by negotiation or through war.”

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David Price, Jan Schakowsky, and Lloyd Doggett, The Hill (printed edition), Why we support diplomacy with Iran: May 14, 2015 

“Last week, 151 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent President Obama a letter demonstrating support for his administration’s efforts to negotiate a lasting and verifiable comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.”

 

Jamal Abdi and Trita Parsi, The Summer of War or Peace with Iran: May 13, 2015 

“This summer, the US Senate will choose between war and peace with Iran. If the right decision is made, Obama’s pending nuclear deal with Iran will be sustained and both a war and an Iranian nuclear bomb will be avoided. If the wrong vote is cast, diplomacy will collapse and the US and Iran will once again be on a path towards a disastrous war that will make the Iraq war look like the cake-walk it was promised to be. The good news is: If Americans speak up in large numbers, the Senate will choose peace.”

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Philip Gordon, The Myth of a ‘Better’ Iran Deal: May 11, 2015 

“Consider the following scenario. A Democratic U.S. administration, working closely with key international partners, negotiates a nuclear nonproliferation agreement with an adversarial rogue state. The deal, an imperfect compromise, would lessen the country’s international isolation and provide some economic benefit in exchange for eliminating the means to produce nuclear weapons. A new Congress is then elected whose Republican majority vociferously rejects “rewarding bad behavior” and opposes the deal. It bans the provision of economic assistance unless and until the regime abandons all its nuclear activities and changes its destabilizing behavior in the region. The deal then predictably falls apart, the tightening of U.S. sanctions fails to have the desired effect, the military option proves nonviable, and the rogue state moves forward with its nuclear program, ultimately testing and stockpiling a growing number of nuclear weapons.”

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The Editorial Board, Beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal: May 9, 2015 

“President Obama’s meeting with Arab leaders this week is an opportunity to reassure the deeply skeptical Gulf States that America’s engagement and probable nuclear deal with Iran is not a threat but an opportunity for regional stability.”

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Ilan Goldenberg and Robert D. Kaplan, The Geopolitics of the Iran Nuclear Deal: May 7, 2015

“As the United States and Iran near an historic nuclear agreement there is an intense debate about whether a deal represents capitulation to Iranian interests in the Middle East or an opportunity to help stabilize the region. If the United States and its partners learn the lessons of previous nuclear negotiations with Iran, and pursue a tightly coordinated strategy in the region, there is a potential over the next few years to ameliorate the conflict-ridden Middle East. For the deal itself is only half the challenge: the other half is to craft a geopolitical framework following the deal that constrains Iranian ambitions.”

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Greg Sargent, The odds of an Iran nuclear deal just got higher: May 7, 2015

“One hundred and fifty House Democrats have now signed a letter expressing strong support for President Obama’s ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, I’ve learned, improving the chances that an eventual nuclear deal could survive the Congressional oversight process.”

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Robert L. Gallucci and Joel S. Wit, Nuclear Knowledge: What North Korea Says About Iran: May 5, 2015

“A recent Foreign Affairs article by Max Boot and Sue Mi Terry—“The Wrong Lessons from North Korea: Avoiding a Nuclear Iran”—attacks a piece we wrote in the New York Times about the real lessons of the United States’ efforts to stop North Korea from going nuclear. Although everyone knows the old bromide “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” it is essential not just to remember the past but also to understand it. From our perspective as participants in U.S. nuclear talks with North Korea, Boot and Terry’s argument fails that test.”

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Paul Kawika Martin, Iran nuke deal:  April 27, 2015

“The historic framework to control Iran’s nuclear program reached by the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France, plus Germany (P5+1), when finalized, will make Israel and the world more secure by thwarting all of Iran’s pathways to make a nuclear weapon and using unprecedented inspections and monitoring to ensure compliance. Without an agreement, by contrast, Iran could produce enough fissile material to make one crude nuclear weapon in a matter of weeks, should it choose to do so, and the threat of war would increase dramatically.”

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Deal or No Deal?, Thomas L. Friedman: April 22, 2015

The Obama team’s effort to negotiate a deal with Iran that could prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear bomb for at least a decade is now entering its critical final stage. I hope that a good, verifiable deal can be finalized, but it will not be easy. If it were, we’d have it by now.

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Ignore the Noise in Washington and Tehran. An Iran Nuclear Deal Is Still Likely, Ian Bremmer: April 22, 2015

A final deal between the U.S. and Iran remains more likely than not, but it’s not vitriolic tweets that threaten it most—it’s the remaining sticking points between the two sides. How much enriched uranium would Iran be allowed to stockpile? How much will a deal limit nuclear research using advanced machines? At what pace and in what sequence will the West lift sanctions while Iran carries out its end of the bargain? These are critical and complex questions, but both sides know that tanhey exist, and nothing that has been said from the sidelines in Tehran or Washington has changed that.

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Why the United States Needs to Be Patient with Iran, Alireza Nader: April 20, 2015

Iranians have demonstrated resilience in the past. And many of them believe that a better future is worth waiting for. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will not live forever. Will his passing lead to a better future? Looking at the Middle East, it’s difficult to be rosy about any one country’s fate. But a final nuclear deal, Iran’s adherence to it, and resulting sanctions relief could provide more room for Iranians who seek real changes. No one should expect miracles after a nuclear deal. Khamenei and his system will not change so easily. But Iranians have been patient. The United States should be as well.

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Don’t sabotage Iran nuke deal, Timothy E. Wirth and Gary Hart: April 18, 2015

Congress’ role in this matter is vital. Most sanctions cannot be lifted without the affirmative action of Congress, and review of any final agreement is appropriate. But premature action while the negotiation is incomplete will be construed as an anticipatory veto of any final agreement before it is even seen.

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Corker-Menendez bill hinders, not helps, a good Iran deal, Bruce W. Jentleson: April 13, 2015

“There have been many times in American history when Congress has played a constructive foreign policy role. There have been other times when its role has been counterproductive to foreign policy success. As we move to the final stages of the Iran nuclear negotiations, there is room for the former. But the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act of 2015, the bill whose principal co-sponsors are Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and former ranking minority member Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), risks the latter.”

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Klass: Senate bill will kill framework, Richard Klass: April 11, 2015

“Now that the United States, its international partners and Iran finally agreed on a framework for a final nuclear deal, one of the biggest hurdles facing its implementation is a bill in Congress — supported by Virginia’s senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats — that carries a high risk of derailing this historic opportunity of peacefully limiting Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon.”

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The Lausanne framework: A promising foundation for a nuclear deal with Iran, Robert Einhorn: April 7, 2015

“The Obama administration finally has wind in its sails on the Iran nuclear issue. For months, critics — both domestic and foreign — framed the public debate. With major negotiating issues still unresolved, the Administration did not have a concrete result to defend and, in any event, was inhibited by a concern that the premature public airing of negotiating details could impede solutions.”

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A Security Treaty with Iran’s Potential Victims Could Ensure Deal Compliance, Steven L. Spiegel:  April 7, 2015

“The heart of the opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran is the fear, even the assumption, that Iran will violate it, cheating on inspections and using the accord’s provisions to double-deal and weaponize. Opponents often cite North Korea’s violation of its deal with the West in 2003. But they fail to mention that, however egregious an Iranian “breakout” would be, one difference is clear: North Korea did not become a regional force, even after it became a nuclear power, because the United States had major defense treaties with South Korea, Japan, Australia and the Philippines.”

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Israel’s Unworkable Demands on Iran, New York Times Editorial Board: April 7, 2015

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has gone into overdrive against a nuclear agreement with Iran. On Monday, his government made new demands that it claimed would ensure a better deal than the preliminary one that Iran, President Obama and other leaders of major powers announced last week. The new demands are unrealistic and, if pursued, would not mean a better deal but no deal at all.”

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Deal With It, Gary Samore: April 5, 2015

“After the 18-month stretch of tough negotiations following the implementation of the interim agreement (or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), the nuclear negotiators are enjoying a well-deserved break from the bargaining table. On April 2, the European Union and Iran issued a brief “understanding” on a political framework for a future nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran.”

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Blocking an Iranian Bomb, Mathew Bunn: April 5, 2015

“What’s the difference between a ‘good deal’ with Iran over its nuclear program and a ‘bad deal’? A ‘good deal’ is one that reduces the chance Iran will get a nuclear bomb, more than the available alternatives would. By that standard, the arrangement just announced in Lausanne, with specifics to be completed by June, is a good deal. It would greatly reduce the chance that the United States – or Israel – would ever have to face the danger or an Iranian bomb.”

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The Fruits of Diplomacy with Iran, Bill Burns: April 2, 2015

“In a perfect world, there would be no nuclear enrichment in Iran, and its existing enrichment facilities would be dismantled. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We can’t wish or bomb away the basic know-how and enrichment capability that Iran has developed. What we can do is sharply constrain it over a long duration, monitor it with unprecedented intrusiveness, and prevent the Iranian leadership from enriching material to weapons grade and building a bomb.”

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A Promising Iran Agreement, Bloomberg Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“Whether by choice or circumstance, the agreement to come to an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program followed one of the oldest rules in the diplomatic playbook: Set expectations low, then exceed them. Even a few hours before representatives from the U.S., the European Union and Iran took to the podium Thursday in Switzerland, the betting was that only a vague plan to keep talking was in the offing.”

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Outline of Iran deal offers the best chance to thaw relations, Boston Globe Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The broad parameters of the deal designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program, which were laid out on Thursday after marathon negotiation sessions in the Swiss city of Lausanne, offer the best chance in 35 years to thaw relations between the Islamic Republic and the West. The agreement isn’t perfect, nor is it final. But the concessions made by Iranian diplomats, and the level of specificity offered to the public, show that all sides were negotiating in good faith. It is now up to Congress to give the negotiators the time they need to finalize the deal — and they should do so by refraining from proposing more sanctions that could jeopardize months of hard work.”

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Iran deal watchwords: distrust and verify, New York Newsday Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The United States appears tantalizingly close to a deal to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.The framework announced Thursday in Washington and Laussane, Switzerland, won’t quiet all the critics of this high-stakes diplomacy. And the agreement could still collapse in the coming months as the final details are worked out. But this peaceful approach to defanging Iran deserves a chance.”

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A Promising Nuclear Deal With Iran, New York Times Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The preliminary agreement between Iran and the major powers is a significant achievement that makes it more likely Iran will never be a nuclear threat. President Obama said it would “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.”’

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I’m a Republican and I Support the Iran Nuclear Deal, Kori Schake: April 2, 2015

“The deal reached between the P5, Germany, and Iran is only provisional and important items like the timing of sanctions relief are still to be fully ironed out. The president is already making outlandish claims — “over-egging the pudding” as Francois Heisbourg put it. It is not true, for example, that “Iran has met all of its obligations,” as President Obama claimed in announcing the deal. Iran has not satisfied the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) concerns about militarization of its program, for one. And I dread the forthcoming effusion of praise from Ben Rhodes for the president’s compelling genius driving every technical detail under consideration.”

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Deal offers chance to ease Iran’s nuclear threat, USA Today Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“Any course the United States might have chosen for reining in Iran’s nuclear weapons program was sure to require a gamble of historic scale, and the agreement reached Thursday in Switzerland certainly qualifies.”

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Deal or no deal, the Iran talks have borne fruit – David Ignatius: April 1, 2015

“The British diplomat Harold Nicolson observed in 1960 that “a good negotiation takes about as long as it takes an elephant to have a baby.” That has been true in the protracted Iran nuclear talks, although in this case, the baby may turn out to be stillborn. Negotiators were still haggling over the framework as they pushed through Tuesday night’s deadline. Officials cautioned that some details remained fuzzy. “

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The Alternative to an Iran Deal Isn’t Inevitable War – Bobby Ghosh: April 1, 2015

“For months now, those in favor of a nuclear deal with the regime in Tehran have been arguing that the alternative is, inexorably, war between the US—along with its Western allies—against Iran, to prevent it from getting nukes. This allows them to label those who oppose a deal as hawks and war-mongers.”

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Why Iran’s Supreme Leader Wants a Nuclear Deal – Trita Parsi: March 26, 2015

“There are few world leaders as powerful yet mysterious as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Most of what has been written about him in English only adds to the confusion surrounding the man (Akbar Ganji’s writings are a notable exception). The most common misinterpretation of him at the moment is that he is ideologically opposed to cutting a reasonable deal with the United States—the “Great Satan,” as America is known among some Iranian leaders—over his country’s nuclear program.”

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Look Before Leaping – Thomas L. Freidman: March 25, 2015

“I can think of many good reasons to go ahead with the nuclear deal with Iran, and I can think of just as many reasons not to. So, if you’re confused, let me see if I can confuse you even more.”

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Why Iran’s Hardliners Fear a Deal – Sadegh Zibakalam: March 25, 2015

“The nuclear negotiation between Iran and the United States represents a historic shift—one that is actually more significant for Iranians than it is for Americans. If there is a deal over the next week, as the two sides approach their end-of-March deadline, it will severely undermine the ideology that has been in place since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Republic in 1979, and which regime hardliners have used to great effect to consolidate their power: anti-Americanism as a legitimizing force.”

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It’s foolhardy to jeopardize Iran talks – Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th) and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.): March 16, 2015

“Fortunately, the intensive diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and another war didn’t stop after 47 Republican senators, led by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, appeared to try to goad Iran’s leaders into forgoing a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute. Neither have they stopped since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered what was effectively a reelection campaign speech on the House floor.”

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GOP letter to Iran disgraces America – The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board:: March 10, 2015

“America looks weakest when its internal arguments spill over into its international diplomacy — something that has been rare in the nation’s history. That it is happening now is a blot on the 114th U.S. Senate; specifically, on the 47 Republican senators who signed an open letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a missive whose sole purpose is to end President Barack Obama’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with that country.”

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Congress Must Bind Iran’s Nuclear Program … or Else – Michael Krepon: March 11, 2015

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t spell out an effective way to block Iran’s path to the bomb in his address to Congress. If Netanyahu were more candid, he would acknowledge the only way to achieve his aims is through military strikes rather than negotiations. In this event, Iran would have far more reason to build nuclear weapons. If members of Congress who favor an agreement were candid, they would acknowledge it will weaken global norms for non-proliferation. If, however, Congress kills a deal that effectively constrains Iran’s nuclear capabilities, the consequences for proliferation will be far worse.”

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Sabotaging a Deal With Iran – New York Times Editorial Board: March 7, 2015

“Congressional critics of an emerging international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program moved with uncommon speed last week to force a vote that could have blown up the negotiations, which are now at a delicate stage. Cooler heads prevailed, and action was delayed. But Congress could still sabotage the deal.”

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Keep Congress Out of the Iran Talks – Editors of Bloombergview: March 5, 2015 

“In the afterglow of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fiery speech to Congress, the Republican-controlled Senate is feeling its oats on foreign policy. Senators should be careful not to undermine President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran.”

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The Negotiating Endgame in Iran – Michael Krepon: March 2, 2015 

“The negotiating end game with Iran is upon us. The Obama administration had no choice but to hold fast to the March 31st deadline, allowing further time only to add detail if an agreed framework can be reached. Restiveness on Capitol Hill is growing and Republican support is hard to detect. Extending these talks once again would whip up stronger opposition in Congress without providing any additional leverage on Iran’s Supreme Leader to make concessions.”

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Going nuclear over Iran – The Washington Post Editorial Board: February 28, 2015

“There are legitimate reasons for concern about the accord the Obama administration is negotiating with Iran on its nuclear program. The latest U.S. offer would allow Iran to keep a large nuclear infrastructure, and all controls reportedly would lapse in 10 to 15 years even if the regime in Tehran did not alter its extremist ideology or its attempts to dominate the region. It’s to be expected that Israel, which continues to be the target of genocidal rhetoric by Iran’s supreme leader, would argue in Washington for tougher terms.”

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Let’s Make the Deal with Iran – William J. Perry, Sean O’Keefe, Adm, James Stavridis and Joe R. Reeder: February 24, 2015 

”America is the safest when its leaders work together to effectively meet national security and foreign policy challenges. Yet partisan infighting threatens to upend our nation’s best chance to stem the very real Iranian nuclear threat. The latest round of negotiations has the United States and Iran mulling a nuclear agreement that would prevent Tehran from amassing enough material to make a bomb for at least 10 years.”

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A compelling argument on Iran – David Ignatius: February 24, 2015 

“Prussian King Frederick the Great offered this rebuke to those who refused to allow any concessions: “If you try to hold everything, you hold nothing.” President Obama might make a similar retort to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attack on the alleged “bad deal” the United States is contemplating with Iran. Netanyahu rejects any concessions that allow Iran to enrich uranium; he thinks the U.S. goal of a one-year “breakout” period before Iran could build a bomb isn’t enough.”

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Get over it: There’s no better deal coming on Iran’s nuclear program – Paul R. Pillar: February 25, 2015

“The best chance to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful is imperiled because of mistaken notions about what real alternatives the West has. There certainly is an agreement to be had that is consistent with the preliminary accord, known as the Joint Plan of Action, reached more than a year ago. This plan placed major restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and subjected it to an unprecedented degree of monitoring.”

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The key to a nuclear agreement with Iran? The window of vulnerability – Ilan Goldenberg: February 23, 2015

“For the past year, the debate on Iran’s nuclear program has focused far too much on the various technical components without examining the sum of its parts. The objective for the United States in the negotiations should not be focused on any one component (e.g. centrifuge numbers), but instead on obtaining an agreement that creates the conditions that will deter Iran from ever trying an overt or covert breakout to a nuclear weapon.”

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Iran ready for a nuclear deal – Hossein Mousavian: USA Today: February 6, 2015

“In January, Iran and major powers ended five days of nuclear talks in Geneva and Paris, including lengthy meetings between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Negotiators made “limited progress” at nuclear talks, agreed to step up efforts and meet in February. As it appears, things are moving, and the chances for clinching a final deal look fairly good. But, only if the two sides can successfully resolve the two key remaining points of contention: Iran’s enrichment capacity and the timetable for lifting sanctions.”

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Now’s not time for more Iran sanctions – Richard Nephew: February 6, 2015 

“Some members of the U.S. Congress may be resisting proposed new sanctions on Iran, but their opposition doesn’t seem likely to stop Congress passing legislation on Tehran’s nuclear program by the end of March. As one of the negotiators who sat across the table from the Iranians for the past 15 months, though, I can assure you that legislation at this juncture risks undermining a deal that is clearly in the interest of all parties.”

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More Recklessness from the Washington Post Editorial Page – Paul Pillar: February 6, 2015 

“James Carden and Jacob Heilbrunn provided in the current issue of The National Interest an extensively documented review of how the ever-more-neocon editorial page of the Washington Post “responds to dangerous and complex problems with simplistic prescriptions.” The Post’s most recent editorial about the nuclear negotiations with Iran is firmly in that same simplistic, destructive tradition.”

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Why new sanctions against Iran would backfire  John Bradshaw and Amb. John Limbert: January 28, 2015

“Proposed legislation in the Senate that would impose additional “triggered” sanctions on Iran during ongoing nuclear talks relies on flawed logic and ignores Iranian history. The legislation would be more likely to blow up the negotiations than to achieve its stated goal of pushing Iran toward an agreement.  Some proponents of the legislation are explicit in hoping new sanctions will derail the talks, but others appear to believe in good faith that threatened sanctions will strengthen the position of the U.S. and its negotiating partners.  They claim that if sanctions brought Iran to the table, more sanctions will force them to agree to a nuclear deal.  Yet a clear-eyed look at past Iranian actions and the dynamics of negotiations shows that this is mere wishful thinking not grounded in a realistic assessment of likely outcomes.”

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It’s not time for Congress to play ‘bad cop’ on Iran – The LA Times Editorial Board: January 26, 2015 

“Washington has been diverted in recent days by the drama created when House Republicans — without consulting the Obama administration — invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month on the subject of Iran’s nuclear program. Presumably he will repeat his warning that “the greatest danger facing humanity could soon be upon us: a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.”

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Sabotaging a Deal with Iran – Ellie Geranmayeh: January 25, 2015 

“Threats by American lawmakers to impose further sanctions on Iran have already poisoned the spirit of the talks and created doubt among Iranians about whether the United States is able and willing to deliver on its promises. This has provoked hard-liners in Tehran to respond with their own threats that Iran would increase its enrichment capacity should new sanctions pass.”

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An Iran Deal is nothing to Fear – Steve Chapman: January 23, 2015

“The bill’s purpose is to “strengthen the United States’ hand in negotiations in order to reach a peaceful, diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” claims the Bipartisan Policy Center. But it also serves the purposes of those people who run screaming from any realistic agreement with Iran.”

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Playing Politics on Iran – The New York Times Editorial Board: January 23, 2015

“Mr. Obama laid out an approach to international engagement that includes shrinking America’s military commitments overseas and negotiating limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for a gradual lifting of sanctions. A move by Congress to pass legislation proposing new sanctions could blow up the talks and divide the major powers that have been united in pressuring Iran.”

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Congress Shouldn’t Scuttle Iran Nuclear Talks with New Sanctions –The Boston Globe: January 23, 2015

“Leaders the GOP -led Congress — specifically Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — have threatened to impose further sanctions on Iran, tied to that country’s development of nuclear material. New sanctions would be a mistake, undermining the ongoing negotiations and reducing the chances of a final agreement between Iran and the United States and its allies.”

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Give Diplomacy with Iran a Chance  Laurent Fabius, Philip Hammond, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federica Mogherini: January 21, 2015

“In November 2013, after many months of negotiations, the E3+3 (France, Germany and Britain, together with the United States, Russia and China, a partnership also referred to sometimes as the P5+1) and Iran reached an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. This agreement has had three main benefits.”

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Cuba and Iran: A New Era for American Diplomacy? – William Luers and Thomas Pickering: January 20, 2015

“President Obama has taken charge of “trying something different” with Cuba and Iran by initiating discrete and patient diplomatic approaches with two of America’s most entrenched adversaries. He seeks to replace policies that have failed to achieve America’s objectives. The President has directly taken on the powerful yet waning domestic and Congressional opposition to changing the bankrupt strategies.”

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Will Iran Play Ball in Nuke Talks? – Robert Einhorn: January 14, 2015 

“Negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program have become hostage to sharp internal divisions within Iran.  Unless Supreme Leader Khamenei throws his weight behind the adjustments in Iran’s negotiating positions that are necessary to reach a compromise with the P5+1 countries, there will be no agreement.”

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Saving the Nuclear Deal With Iran – The New York Times Editorial Board: January 10, 2015

“Twice recently, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has acted boldly in support of his biggest political gamble, pursuit of a nuclear agreement with the major powers. In a speech last Sunday on Iran’s troubled economy, he argued that Iran will never enjoy sustained growth if it is isolated from the rest of the world. Three weeks earlier, he made clear that he would confront Iran’s hard-liners in his efforts to clinch a deal in which Iran would agree never to produce a nuclear weapon in return for the lifting of crippling international sanctions.”

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Preventing Iranian Nukes Without Further Sanctions – Steve Sheffey: January 8, 2015

“The Republican Senate’s consideration of additional Iranian sanctions legislation stems from concerns about the absence of an acceptable agreement with Iran after all these months of negotiations, as well as fears that temporary extensions of limited sanctions relief have allowed the Iranian economy a chance to recover somewhat and has provided material encouragement to potential Iranian economic partners.”

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Responding to Iran’s Nuclear Gambit – Bloomberg View Editorial Board: January 7, 2015

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has begun the new year by preparing his countrymen for the compromises Iran will need to make to strike a nuclear deal with the rest of the world. It was a significant step — and U.S. leaders should take advantage of it.”

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How the New GOP Congress Can Make a Good Iran Deal Possible –  Matthew Kroenig: January 6, 2015

“As our lawmakers return from their winter recess, the Iran nuclear negotiations will be high on the foreign-policy agenda. The impetus in the new Republican-controlled Congress will be to immediately pass tough new sanctions legislation, but there is a better way to turn up the heat on Tehran while making it clear to everyone that the obstacle to a successful negotiated settlement is Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not Republicans in Congress.”

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No Need for New Sanctions on Iran – Ilan Goldenberg: December 18, 2014

“As the 113th Congress wraps up and the new Congress prepares for the start of 2015 it is evident that one of the central early debates on foreign policy will revolve around new sanctions on Iran.  The sanctions regime imposed by Congress and implemented by the Obama administration played a significant role in bringing Iran to the table and getting an agreement on the interim Joint Plan of Action (JPOA).  However, new sanctions now would be poorly timed and reduce the probability of a positive outcome.”

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Don’t Fear a Sneak-Out: Why Iran Can’t Secretly Build the Bomb – Jacques E. C. Hymans: December 9, 2014 

“In the recently extended negotiations over the future of Iran’s nuclear program, the main sticking point has always been the number of centrifuges that Tehran will be allowed to keep for enriching uranium. This number is important because the more working centrifuges Iran has, the faster it could achieve a nuclear breakout. According to standard estimates, Iran’s current inventory of approximately 10,000 operational centrifuges could allow it to amass enough weapons-grade uranium for a single bomb in just a few months. The Barack Obama administration believes that it can convince Iran to roll back that timeline far enough to defuse the current crisis, allowing both sides to develop a more normal relationship.”

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Iran Deal More than a Nuclear Issue – Trita Parsi: December 7, 2014

“The dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme was never just about centrifuges or breakout capabilities. It has always been a symptom of a larger geopolitical contest between the West (primarily the United States) and Iran, with roots that predate the 1979 Iranian revolution.”

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Too Important to Slip Away – The New York Times Editorial Board: November 27, 2014

“Deciding to extend negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program until June 2015, as the various parties have done, is far better than allowing the process to collapse. There is no sensible alternative to a diplomatic solution, and the major powers must continue to press Iran toward that goal.”

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For Human Rights in Iran, Take the Time to Get the Nuclear Deal Done – Farshad Farahat: November 26, 2014

With negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program being extended until July 2015, there should be no question that taking the time required to pursue this potentially monumental agreement is the smart thing to do

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In Iran-West nuclear talks, a new deadline is a lifeline – The Monitor’s Editorial Board: November 24, 2014

A year ago, Iran froze its nuclear program in return for a slight easing of sanctions in order to keep the talks alive. Now, without having made any concessions, each side wants to move ahead with more talks. Each step in confidence-building makes it easier to settle the big issues. Threats and pressure got the two sides to the negotiating table. Now trust is getting them toward an agreement.

 

On Iran Talks, Extension Beats Confrontation: Our View – USA Today Editorial Board: November 24, 2014

“The choice is clear: Give up on negotiations and switch to a path that seems to lead rapidly toward military confrontation, or take the small risk — with ample benefit — on unfreezing some Iranian assets and buying negotiators more time to attain an agreement that could remove a deeply troubling nuclear threat and begin to end the 35-year cold war between the U.S. and Iran. That shouldn’t be a hard decision to make.”

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Talks on Iran’s Nuclear Program Rightly Extended – Los Angeles Times Editorial Board: November 24, 2014

“It’s disappointing that negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program failed to produce a final agreement by Monday’s deadline. But the decision by Iran and six world powers to keep talking is vastly preferable to the alternative. A rupture in the negotiations would have freed Iran from its commitment — which the International Atomic Energy Agency says Tehran has honored — not to accelerate its efforts to develop nuclear energy while negotiations proceed.”

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What Iran Talks Mean for ISIS Fight – Jim McDermott and Kate Gould: November 24, 2014

“Washington and Tehran didn’t reach the final nuclear deal they were striving for, but the short-term extension of talks announced Monday should help ensure more progress can be made, both in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and reducing the chances of yet another war in the Middle East.”

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With Talks Extended, Risks in Additional U.S. Sanctions Against Iran – Karim Sadjadpour: November 24, 2014

“Nuclear negotiations with Iran failed, as expected, to produce a comprehensive resolution. Talks are to be extended until June 2015. Congress now faces a critical decision: As lawmakers deliberate, two broad principles are important: One: A pause in Iran’s nuclear program–though imperfect–must not be measured against a utopian ideal (the total dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program) but realistic alternatives. Two: The intent of U.S. policy should be to deter Iran’s nuclear advancement, not provoke it.”

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