From my twitter feed, it seems that all of the people who should be hating the Iran deal are hating it, and all of the people who are actually interested in some kind of accommodation seem pleased. A few very vague thoughts:

  • Charles Duelfer thinks that this deal is no more likely to get rid of Iran’s nuclear program than the 1990s regime was to get rid of Saddam’s WMD. Seriously.
  • No agreement was going to remove or fundamentally change the nature of the Tehran government in the short term. Complaints along these lines amount to pissing in the wind.
  • Yes, Scott Walker has already said something stupid. Didn’t take long! The broader story is that any hope that the neocon grip on GOP foreign policy would loosen appears to be gone; the cranks remain firmly in control.
  • Iranian neocons have been as bitterly opposed to this negotiation as their American counterparts. The Iranian government will undoubtedly overspin the results in order to placate them.
  • Iran may cheat, but the question (as was the case with the Syrian chemical weapons agreement) is less “Does Iran comply 100%?” and more “Can we ensure a better outcome without a deal?” The answer, as was the case with Syria, is almost certainly no.
  • If you’re really, genuinely worried about Iranian influence in the region, the real threat is that Iran will abandon its proto-program completely and concentrate on enhancing its conventional and unconventional warfare capabilities.  In my view, nukes have been more of a distraction for Tehran than a potential asset.  But then Israel and Saudi Arabia already hold overwhelming conventional superiority over Iran, so projections of Iranian “hegemony” are so much nonsense in anything less than a 50 year timeframe.
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