This is rightly the dominant news story of the day, but it’s one that I hesitate to comment on:
VIENNA — A historic agreement Tuesday to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief will ensure Iran has no possibility to achieve rapid nuclear weapons “breakout” capabilities for at least the next decade, U.S. leaders said.
“We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” said President Obama as he listed some of the pillars of the deal including international inspections, reductions in Iran’s centrifuges used to make nuclear fuel and a sharp cut in Iran’s stockpile of nuclear material.
“We put sanctions in place to get a diplomatic solution, and that is what we have done. . . . This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,” said Obama, noting a potentially tough review ahead in Congress.
I hesitate because I don’t know enough to be able to judge the agreement.
Will it really limit, hinder or at least delay a nuclear Iran? How can I tell? Even if I had carefully studied the agreement, which I haven’t, I would not have the expertise to know whether the agreement will succeed on those critical points.
And neither does anyone else. The outcries from various Republicans criticizing the agreement are based on a simple variable — their lack of trust of the Obama administration.
If I’m going to listen to any objections, it would be the ones coming from Israel and Saudi Arabia — they at least have a life-and-death motivation to know what they are talking about.
It gets down to whom do you trust? And while I see the administration’s motives as pure, I worry that Iran always had an advantage in the negotiations, arising from the fact that POTUS really, really wanted an agreement.
As I say, that worries me. But do I know enough to judge this agreement? No, I do not. And that’s unsettling, because the question of whether Iran is more or less likely to develop and deploy nuclear weapons is one of the most important issues on this planet.
It’s disturbing, and embarrassing, that I have better-informed opinions on the fifth season of “Game of Thrones” than I do about this.