Topic of the day: Nuclear deal with Iran

Published: Monday, Nov. 25 2013 4:49 p.m. MST

On Sunday it was announced that the United States and Iran had reached a historic agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement demands a halt to all but the basics of the Iranian nuclear program and disclosure to foreign overseers, in exchange for the West cutting back on the crippling economic sanctions imposed on Iran.

The deal is a groundbreaking achievement between the U.S. and Iran, two countries whose relationship has been strained at best.

Here are some reactions to the deal from around the Web.

“Geneva represents a risk well worth taking by the Obama administration and the five other powers that negotiated it with the Iranians,” writes David Rothkopf at CNN. “The Geneva deal is a genuine diplomatic step forward. If it delays or reduces the risk of Iran gaining nuclear weapons and triggering an arms race in the region, it will be even more than that.”

However, Rothkopf does believe that the agreement does not represent a long-term solution, a thought also held by Ray Takeyh at the Washington Post. “The task at hand is not just to negotiate an agreement but also ensure compliance over a protracted period,” Takeyh writes. While the short-term deal is certainly a step in the right direction, Iran and the U.S. are still essentially on opposite ends and more work should be put into making sure that a long-term and stable solution is accepted.

“(W)hat matters isn’t who in Washington salutes. It’s whether the leaders in Riyadh, Jerusalem, Cairo, Istanbul, Dubai and Kuwait City do,” says K.T. McFarland at Fox News. McFarland believes that this agreement is doing little more than opening up the possibility of an arms race in the Middle East, that Iran is getting everything it wanted without having to actually do anything. “So how are they (other Middle East countries) likely to view the new Iranian-American relationship? With distrust, suspicion and a sense of betrayal.”

But rather than worry about Iran upholding its end of the bargain, Doyle McManus worries about whether or not the U.S. is capable of upholding its end of the deal in his op-ed article in the Los Angeles Times. “Just as Americans and Israelis worry about Iran’s intentions, he said, many Iranian officials suspect that the United States is bent on undermining their regime and isn’t sincere about making a long-term deal.” And McManus concludes that they are probably right in holding that assumption.

And no discussion on Iran would be complete without Israel, whose dilemma is explained by David Cohen at the New York Times. “Israel is the status-quo Middle Eastern power par excellence because the status quo cements its nuclear-armed domination. Any change is suspect, including popular Arab uprisings against despotism. As changes go, this U.S.-Iranian breakthrough is big, almost as big as an Israeli-Palestinian peace would be.”

What are your thoughts and opinions on the deal?

Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College graduate and a writer for the Deseretnews.com Opinion section and Brandview. Email him at fstevenson@deseretdigital.com

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