Generally, when this many different factions hate a deal, it’s a pretty good sign that it’s the best deal you can get. Even if that doesn’t necessarily make it a good deal. Iranian fringe apocalypse types decry the agreement as one sided, which it is. Hardline types in Israel and America decry the deal as doing nothing to stop Iran from getting the bomb, which is true.
But it’s better than no deal. For all sides. I guess.
1) Nobody’s going to be bombing Iran; so talking’s the only option
Ignore continued statements about military force. Nobody means it anymore. Maybe five years ago, but not today. Not even Bibi’s going to draw a weapon because Israel’s air force doesn’t have the weight to do it alone. And with a P5+1 deal in place, not even Bibi’s reckless enough to give the whole planet the finger. Plus that’d just restart a war with Hezbollah he doesn’t want. And in any case, no series of airstrikes is going to stop Iran’s bomb program cold.
2) The status quo isn’t going to work
Nor will the idea of just keeping existing sanctions in place instead of bombing. Then Iran would just go ahead and build the bomb. No amount of sanctions can stop them from getting a bomb if they want.
3) Iran can get the bomb whenever they want regardless
Any modern state on the planet can build a bomb. Sorry, life sucks. If they wanted, South Africa could build a bomb (again). Or Japan. How about Slovakia? Or Mauritius? They can all do it if they want. Your recourse is to sanction away, which will bankrupt them but won’t stop them from getting a bomb. Or you can invade. Your call. The anti-nuclear proliferation effort is a volunteer only club. That’s the way it is. So other than talking, nobody’s got anything in their toolkit that can stop a country from getting the bomb. Because the last time I checked, nobody’s been agreeable to conquering a whole country just because they decided to build the bomb. And even if they were, well, Iraq’s soured the planet on such efforts for at least the next three decades.
4) Iran’s not a team player for peace; the deal doesn’t change that; but so what
Iran’s going to be Iran. Which is to say, a force for chaos and strife throughout the Middle East in service of their own self-interest. Every country does this, of course, but Iran’s just a little more aggressive and evil about it than others. They’re going to be this way. With or without a deal. It would seem, hopefully, that with a deal though that at least they’d be this way without a bomb.
5) So let’s finish the deal
This deal took on a life of its own. After a decade, the foreign relations / diplomatic class saw this as a reason to justify their existence. Failure was never going to be an option. It’s why they extended the deadline, twice. It’s why Iran hardened their stance at the last minute and the P5+1 didn’t immediately walk out. Because Iran knew everybody wasn’t leaving Switzerland without some kind of agreement.
Ask yourself: What was the purpose of the deal? To stop Iran from getting the bomb? No, as we’ve explained above that’s impossible. To bring Iran into the international community as a responsible player? No, as we’ve explained above, Iran doesn’t want that.
For Iran, this was about getting rid of sanctions. For everybody else, it was the fiction of a ‘successful’ agreement.
In other words, everybody just wanted to move on. You think anybody from the P5+1 really cares? Does some machinist in Dusseldorf really care if Iran gets the bomb? What about the guy working at the dry cleaner in Peoria? Are those guys willing to go to war over this? Do they even know where Iran is?
For example, consider this nightmare: Pakistan is about seventeen times less secure a country than Iran but they’ve had the bomb for two decades. When you really read about how close Pakistan has come to using / losing the bomb about oh say fifty times, it really creeps you out. But nobody really seems to be consistently bothered by it. Pakistan just gets away with it and the planet keeps their fingers crossed and hopes that nothing bad will happen. Iran will be the same way.
Ignorance is bliss. Everybody wins. Iran gets rid of sanctions. The West’s political class can claim victory. Franz in Dusseldorf and Stan in Peoria can continue to not care. And so, fingers crossed. Let’s hope it all somehow works out. What could go wrong?
this is so overrated; it hasn’t happened in like half-a-century; so why worry?