Michael Brenner, a Professor of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, writes in Moment of Truth: Iran and Obama: “The nuclear negotiations with Iran are in their eleventh hour. By Monday we’ll know whether a resolution has been reached or a new crisis of the first order added to the conflagrations in the Middle East – indeed, one that will exacerbate all the others.”
CIA vet and Georgetown professor Paul Pillar asks “Will the Iran Deal-Wreckers Prevail?” And I think we all know who those deal-wreckers are. Below is the English version of my remarks quoted in yesterday’s Fars News Agency story.
The nuclear negotiations between the 5 + 1 group and Iran ought to succeed. Even US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran is not building nuclear weapons, so this is really a non-crisis that ought to be resolved forthwith. Most of the participants have reasons for wanting the talks to succeed. The Iranian side wants to end the sanctions. The Europeans want to be able to trade with Iran. Russia and China generally support Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy. And the Obama administration (at least the realist faction, which includes the President) would like to leave normalization of relations with Iran as part of its legacy.
The only serious force opposing a deal is Israel and its agents in the various P5+1 countries, especially the US. Unfortunately the Republican Party, which is dominated by hard-line Zionists, just took over Congress, which may complicate Obama’s prospects for reaching a deal that seriously displeases Netanyahu and getting congressional approval. So we will have to wait and see whether Israel, a small nation that is the world’s worst international outlaw, manages to sink this important initiative that is supported by almost everyone else on earth.