Another look at the status of the Iran deal.

Iran deal unraveling?


Update 4.21.2015
The din against the Iran deal is getting louder. This isn't unexpected, those opposed to the deal are adamantly (almost apoplectically) so, and in any debate the noise level rises as arguments and counter arguments are made and both side posture. On top of this, is the conservative drive to against anything and everything proposed by Obama, along with the opening of the 2016 primary season. LWRAS claims no particular expertise here, the purpose is to gather background material to try and understand the issue. Full disclosure: The inherent bias here is a deep weariness of US military action in the Middle East.

Vox interviews Michael Doran on why the deal should be nixed. Doran's theory is that Obama has decided to give the Middle East to Iran. In Doran's telling, Iran was an early focus of the Obama administration, but the administration discussed it very little. The set up parallels articles that claim the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq long before 911. I don't think anyone would dispute the notion that Obama wanted to "turn the page" from Bush's doctrine and policies.

Doran believes that the 2006 Baker-Hamilton report is the blueprint that the Obama administration is using for its foreign policy. That bipartisan document advised that the US leave Iraq, launch a surge in Afghanistan, try again to get the Israelis to sign a peace deal with the Palestinians, and begin a diplomatic effort with Iran. If this is true, the Obama administration has done (or tried to do) three out of the four items. With Netanyahu in the Prime Minister's office in Israel, peace with Palestinians is unlikely.

Doran's version of the aborted Green Revolution doesn't match my own recollection. There was no huge request for the US to swoop in and solve the problem, in fact, my memory is that protesters thought US involvement would complicate matters. The "evidence" seems to be limited only to right wing sites, not a circumstance usually associated with the full truth (the same is true of "evidence" appearing only on left wing sites. The US can't solve every nation's problems, nor should it attempt to do so. However, remaining neutral can (and is in the article) be spun by hardliners as weakness. Hardliners in Iran likely think the same, which is why peace negotiations are so difficult. Doran doesn't think that Iran will agree to a deal unless they are coerced.

Business Insider thinks Obama just threw Kerry under the bus. The author also contends that, "there is no framework" historical or otherwise and that Obama is offering Iran appeasement. No hyperbole there, is there?

Not everybody hates the proposed deal, though transparency is critical to maintain his support, as is sticking to the original framework. More transparency is seldom a bad thing in politics, especially international politics. The supreme leader in Iran is making statements that would cause the framework to be significantly altered if they are accommodated. Of course, so too are members of the US Congress. He notes that historically, assuming that a Middle Eastern leader is speaking "for internal consumption only" has not proved to be a good bet. Therefore ignoring or downplaying what the supreme leader is saying would not be wise, but neither do his statements mean that an ultimate deal can't yet be negotiated. The US needs to be willing to walk away from the deal.

It seems clear to this observer that though the Iranian people seem to have a favorable opinion of the deal, the military there does not necessarily. It also seems clear that both sides are noisily trying to spin the framework to their advantage. Nothing is newsworthy about that. Congress did pass a bill, and Obama idd agree to it, that Congress will have 30 days to review the deal, when the final deal is actually negotiated. The deadline is supposed to be in June, but it's likely that deadline will shift if need be.

Site Maintenance note


Updated 4.20.2015
The new format for the site is in place, and the decision has been to standardize the entire site to it. This will take time and will occur mostly behind the scenes, but will affect any older links for a bit.