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Will the sky fall? Chicken Little: Thank you for asking, Apparently not for 6 months. Check back in June.

UPDATE: 11/24   An agreement between the P5+! was reached. President Shimon Peres of Israel welcomed it: “the success or failure of the deal will be judged by results, not by words,” and he called on the Iranians “to reject terrorism” and to stop the nuclear program and the development of long-range missiles.

“Israel, like others in the international community, prefers a diplomatic solution,” Mr. Peres said. “But I want to remind everyone of what President Obama said, and what I have personally heard from other leaders: The international community will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. And if the diplomatic path fails, the nuclear option will be prevented by other means. The alternative is far worse.”

PM Netanyahu does not agree with Peres or Obama, on the merits of the interim agreement. And perhaps many in the U.S. Congress will second Netanyahu. But scuttling the agreement by imposing more sanctions rather than helping to control Iran's nuclear program would look like an act of revenge against Obama and Kerry for succeeding at diplomacy instead of starting a war.

Yesterday's post below:

Posted: Saturday, November 23..

What will happen in Geneva this week-end: A run down by Jim Lobe lays out the probable deal that the P5+1 is offering Iran. He recaps the goings-on in Washington between the Administration and the neo-cons, both in and out of Congress.

Most analysts, including administration officials involved in the negotiation, believe that any new sanctions – or curbs on Obama’s authority to waive existing ones – are likely to drive Iran from the table by bolstering hard-liners in Tehran who have long argued that Obama is either unwilling or unable to deliver what they regard as a minimally acceptable deal. Such a breakdown in the talks would return the two countries to a path of confrontation, significantly enhancing the chances of war, according to both the White House and most independent analysts....

Even if an interim accord is reached within the coming days, the lobby’s leaders and their backers in Congress have made clear they will not give up on their efforts to derail its implementation. Republican lawmakers, in particular, warned this week that, in addition to seeking new sanctions, they will introduce legislation aimed at reducing Obama’s room for manoeuvre.

A report in Saturday's NYTimes echoes much of this criticism and adds the fear that even a small modification in the sanctions will lead to their collapse. The sky may be falling!

No one seems to consider the reverse argument: if a deal fails the sanctions will collapse because too many countries and businesses, not just Iran, are losing a lot of money.

About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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Remember that this deal was supported by all other countries as well (the 5 countries on the permanent council). From what I have seen, it appears to be a fair and reasonable solution to the problem of Iran having a nuclear weapon and also supports them in their perfectly legal and legitimate right to pursue a nuclear energy program.

Nothing is to be gained by shunning people (or countries) when they make postive moves. 

Sanctions hurt women and children more than anybody else and I have heard and read reports where the majority of Iranian people are anxious for a deal and hopefully their leadership will accommodate.

Iran is agreeing to peaceful, transparent nuclear program. Nobody is going to "wipe Israel off the map" which, by the way, is a misleading translation and a mischaracterization of what Ahmadinejad meant but as Putin said he needs to be more careful with his words. At any rate, he is gone and Rouhani is in. 

The P5 also support Israeli security so they should be more careful with their public pronouncements and do a little reflection on the consequences of many of their policies.

Congress needs to support the president on this and not further undermine him when he makes significant advances in diplomacy. It is better than war and Repubs need to give credit where credit is due and support him.

Well said, George D.

I say Well said to George D also.   Isreal being wiped off face of earth is not a reality threat ... not with Isreal's  200+ nucs and an excellent delivery system. What Isreali enemy would assure its own total destruction  in order to score rhetorical points?.  ..  

Yes! George D, well said; and succinct. Thank you

Is Netanyahu's reaction primarily for domestic right-wing Israeli consumption?  Or, does he have a point?  

While I certainly welcome the P5 agreement with Iran - it's the right thing to do - Israel is the one under threat.  I am somewhat taken back that both Israel and Saudi Arabia have essentially the same reaction to this deal - talk about strange bedfellows?

I just love the knee jerk reaction of Obama's critics in the Congress to any success of the President, especially Lindsay Graham whose Blanche DuBois imitation is becoming really tiresome.

Six months is not a long time.  We'll know for sure if this deal will work relatively very soon.

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