Friday, October 25, 2013

Negotiations with Iran

Nicholas Burns (in the Boston Globe) provides his assessment of US negotiations with Iran (including a rather chest-thumping thumbs-up for devastating of Iran's economy via sanctions), and concludes with the following:

Wouldn’t it be extraordinary if Republicans as well as Democrats stood by the president as he executed this very challenging diplomatic endgame on the most critical war and peace issue of 2014? Or is that too much to expect in the hyper-partisan Washington that brought us the shutdown?

Uh huh, it would be extraordinary - and I wouldn't count on it.  The GOP-controlled House wants to take down Obama any way it can, and I can only imagine how much the Tea Partiers want payback for their humiliating defeat over ACA/"Obamacare."  Just for those reasons, stymying Obama's attempts to work with Iran would be, if nothing else, wicked fun.

Meanwhile, if any more promising signs emerge after negotiations resume, Mr. Netanyahu will surely pull out a fire-hose to drench it all in very cold water.  That dozens of senators and Congressmen - especially GOP, but including some powerful Dems like Chuck Schumer - have sworn fealty to Bibi over the issue of Iran's nuclear program (not to mention Israel's strategic domination of the Middle East in general) can only mean that Obama is likely to find it impossible to get Congress's support for any deal that Iran could accept - or should even be asked to accept.  And, of course, even if Congress can be convinced to hold off on imposing new sanctions (which Bibi wants), it probably will not agree to significant sanctions relief - which by itself could deep-six any chance of a meaningful deal with Iran.

All of which is a shame . . . and shameful . . . because without some major compromise and breakthrough in these negotiations, the odds of war with Iran will increase almost exponentially.  That spells disaster, and ruin, any way you look at it. . . . for Iran certainly, but Israel, and the US, will pay a huge price as well.

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