First, I don’t know enough about this to have an opinion yet, if I ever will. The closest I can come right now is to survey the views of other informed, critical observers, and see if I can begin to discern an impression.
Before this past weekend, I was very worried about the kinds of deals that were being discussed because France, Saudi Arabia and Israel were all giving them a big thumbs-down, and expressing a significant loss of faith in the United States’ willingness to push for a deal that actually would halt the Iranian nuke program.
So I do a quick check to see how those parties are reacting to this:
- The French seem happy. President Francois Hollande called it “…an important step in the right direction.” So if the French aren’t seizing a new opportunity for scorning American weakness (which is their new role in the world these days), that’s a good sign.
- Israel hates it. Bibi calls it a “historic mistake.” OK, Israel is our closest ally in the region, but we don’t have to agree with them on everything. Moving on…
- If you read The Guardian, the Saudis are being cautiously discreet about the deal. If you read Al Jazeera, they welcome it. If you read The Telegraph, they’re hugely ticked off at their Western allies, and are going to forge their own course going forward.
So… a mixed bag.
Meanwhile, back home, the Obama administration has trouble on this among two key groups:
- Republicans in Congress.
- Democrats in Congress.
The WSJ reports:
The leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties are threatening to break with President Barack Obama‘s policy and enact new punitive sanctions on Iran, arguing that the interim deal reached in Geneva on Sunday yields too much to the Islamist regime while asking too little.
“The disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), an influential member of the Senate Democratic leadership.
So maybe the deal is moot at this end. I don’t know.