More Right-Headedness on PMDPosted: July 17, 2014
. . . from Greg Thielmann in this op-ed in Reuters today:
Though discussions between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are proceeding in parallel to the six-power nuclear negotiations with Iran, some argue that Tehran must “come clean” on past military experiments before it can be trusted to make new commitments. But reaching and implementing a nuclear agreement should not be held hostage to resolving all the complicated questions about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s past nuclear programs.
I’m following the news on the negotiations like everyone else, and at the moment it doesn’t seem to be looking good for reaching a comprehensive agreement by this weekend. In fact it appears that there is a resignation among the negotiators to opt for an extension of the current interim agreement, and come back to the negotiating table in August or September.
I don’t have a whole lot that’s original to add to the reams of commentary about what should happen here. I’m glad to see some people criticizing the P5+1 for their misplaced focus on denying Iran “breakout capability.” Paul Pillar and Steve Walt have written very good pieces on this recently. I think the P5+1 negotiators should take their advice and not press for unrealistic limits on Iran’s enrichment capability.
I think the window for making a deal will not last forever, and that Iran has already given a lot by way of concessions on Arak and its enrichment program. Its time for the P5+1 negotiators to realize that the deal isn’t going to get much better, and that not making a deal could result in missing this fleeting opportunity altogether.