Missed Opportunity in ViennaPosted: November 24, 2014
I’m pretty bummed today that the latest round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna has ended in a decision to extend the JPOA for another six months. I fail to see what will be different in six months that will make a deal more doable then than now. As others have observed, at this point there are no real technical issues. It’s all about political will. I was one among those who were hoping that the two sides would exert leadership and make the tough choices necessary to obtain a deal.
I know that both sides’ positions are complicated, perhaps made practically irreconcilable, by domestic politics in their respective capitals. If that’s the case, then I don’t know why we should be optimistic that those dynamics will change significantly over the next six months. Far more likely, I would think, is that more stumbling blocks will arise over that time, either in the form of domestic politics or unpredictable world events.
If there is no deal, I really don’t know what will happen long term. I don’t expect war, to be honest. I think more likely is the continuation of sanctions on Iran by the West, which will help nothing and no one, with more and more instances of economic dealmaking between Iran and Russia, China, and others who will increasingly see the sanctions programs by the West as unsupportable.