From The NY Times: ‘Deal Reached With Iran Halts Its Nuclear Program’

Full piece here.

The Iranian regime says it will stop enrichment beyond 5%, and dissolve uranium enriched to 20%.  Click through for details.

‘The freeze would last six months, with the aim of giving international negotiators time to pursue the far more challenging task of drafting a comprehensive accord that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could be used only for peaceful purposes.’

I suspect John Kerry and his connections had a fair amount to do with the deal.  Back-channels are usually key to these kinds of deals.

Iran gets $6 to $7 billion in relief on economic sanctions which have hobbled the economy (and these people are dealers).  The regime will presumably continue its aims of regional hegemony through all the other means available, including terrorism.  It’s kind of a thugocracy. These may still not be the kinds of people we can do business with:

But some experts, including a former official who has worked on the Iranian issue for the White House, said it was unlikely that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would ever close the door on the option to develop nuclear weapons. Instead, they said, any initial six-month agreement is more likely to be followed by a series of partial agreements that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities but do not definitively solve the nuclear issues.’

Cautious optimism?

Have we really brought the regime in from the cold and enticed it through realpolitik carrots and sticks into lawful obligations?

Cynical skepticism?

Will the thugocracy continue to nod towards its lawful obligations while getting ever closer to deliverable nukes, proving we may have lost more than we’ve gained in this process?

What about regional stability with the Saudis & Israelis especially, but Hezbollah, Syria, the Russians and that ever dangerous Shia/Sunni split.

This rogue blogger’s proud of seeing the Brzezinski/Scowcroft connection.  See the previous post.

Addition:  Is there even a deal that reaches beyond the sticking point of the right to enrich at all?

Another Addition:  It’s hard to see how very much has changed at all in the region, now that this piece of paper has been signed, and it’s a little mystifying to think of the time and energy that’s gone into it, and how little the Iranian regime can be trusted, and how little we’ve gained.

This blog doesn’t remain cynically skeptical, it remains wisely skeptical, and watching closely to many of the same dynamics as before.

What has Iran gained?  John Bolton:

‘First, it bought time to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover (centrifuge manufacturing and testing; weaponization research and fabrication; and its entire ballistic missile program)

Second, Iran has gained legitimacy

Third, Iran has broken the psychological momentum and effect of the international economic sanctions

We’re playing with fire here, and with decisions that could affect us for generations to come.

Addition:  From the Jerusalem Post, it’s looking like the right to enrich uranium in the first place is a sticking point.  The clock is ticking, and many costs have already built up. Some Saturday Links On Iran-Peace At What Price?

Israel, Iran, & Peace: Andrew Sullivan Responds To Charges Of Potential Anti-SemitismSome Saturday Links On Iran-Skepticism, To Say The Least

So what are our interests and how do we secure them as the fires in the Middle-East rage?  Michael Totten makes a case here in Why We Can’t Leave The Middle-East.’  He gets push-back in the comments

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