It might be worth revisiting this piece by George Schultz and Henry Kissinger now that the p5 + 1 preliminary negotiations have been extended for another seven months.
No deal is probably better than a bad deal, and perhaps this kind of dealing:
‘Some adjustments are inherent in the inevitable process of historic evolution. But we must avoid an outcome in which Iran, freed from an onerous sanctions regime, emerges as a de facto nuclear power leading an Islamist camp, while traditional allies lose confidence in the credibility of American commitments and follow the Iranian model toward a nuclear-weapons capability, if only to balance it.’
I’m guessing it’s certainly true that some people in Iran (the Green Revolution) would like to be out from under the mullah-controlled, Basij supported deep state. The ruling cadre has plenty of political enemies within Iran (across broader groups, from religious minorities to the politically and economically oppressed).
Yet, for our sakes, it’s tough to deal with shady bunch of fiercely nationalistic, former Revolutionary guard types in charge: Perfectly happy to get nukes, become the big dogs in the region, keep funding Hizbollah and doing all the shady, destablilizing things they’ve been doing, just now with nukes.
This would continue to be really bad for the Sunnis in Iraq, the Saudis, and the Israelis, among others, as well as pretty much all American interests.
Whether it’s aggressive, untrustworthy terrorist-funding types, to more moderate calculating, wheeling-dealing types buying time and maximum advantage, this was always a longer shot which required serious diplomacy.
I’d love to be proven wrong, but I suspect this approach always required experience, timing, testicular fortitude, and enough realist leadership that seems sorely lacking in this White House.
The clock keeps ticking.
Feel free to highlight my ignorance. Any thoughts and comments are welcome.
Over at the nearly completely erased Syrian/Iraq border and to the Kurds left to fight for their survival.
The Turks really can’t afford an independent Kurdistan, but they probably really can’t afford an ISIS-controlled Islamo-thunderdome next door, either. Erdogan has to keep his opposition down, and still ride the Islamically resurgent wave rolling throughout the region.
From this NY Times piece on the state whatever’s left of the Iraqi Army:
“I told the Americans, don’t give any weapons through the army — not even one piece — because corruption is everywhere, and you will not see any of it,” said Col. Shaaban al-Obeidi of the internal security forces, also a Sunni tribal leader in Anbar Province. “Our people will steal it.”