Yes, Iran Does Get a Better Deal Than the Status Quo in the Agreement- So What?


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Let’s say you and I had a fight. After the outbreak of our disagreement, we sat down to hash out our differences, and in that negotiation, I said you had to accept all the blame for the disagreement, and you got nothing in return. You’d walk away, right? This is how negotiations work. You don’t get everything you want in the agreement. If you think you will, you entered with false, unreasonable goals.

This is the folly in the position of opponents of President Obama’s Iran Deal. Their critiques of President Obama pre-suppose that there is a better deal. They suppose that you could have forced Iran to give up all nuclear power, including peaceful civilian programs. They suppose you could have forced them to accept those terms and not given them any better economic flexibility than they have now under the sanctions. They suppose you could have thrown in lots of other issues, and forced all of them into the agreement too, while still not giving Iran the ability to develop energy or grow their economy. In short, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, and Speaker Boehner are all living in a fantasy world, not the reality based world that actual leaders need to live in.

Let’s be clear here- Iran didn’t come to the table because they had a change of heart and wanted to be peaceful all of a sudden, nor should we have expected that. Iran came to the table to negotiate a nuclear arms deal because their President ran on doing just this, because the voters in Iran were mad about the economic conditions they were living under because of the sanctions. Iran needed out of the recession they were in, so they came to the negotiating table. They came out of need.

This is really not difficult, it’s transactional. They needed civilian nuclear energy and to get out of the sanctions. We wanted to stop them from getting the atomic bomb. We made a transactional deal. Yes, Iran’s economy will grow from this deal. That is what they negotiated for. We got the right of inspections and consequences if they try to get the bomb. Both sides give something to the other, to get the thing they want. If you don’t understand that to be part of negotiations, you have no idea how to make a deal. Clearly though, given the record of the critics, it is fair to say they are pretty clueless.

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