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The Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Obama's New Diplomatic Era

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    The deal that President Obama recently announced regarding Iran's nuclear program is a big deal. It's actually hard to put into words how big of a deal this agreement is. Before we can dive too much into why this agreement is so historic, we need to remind ourselves of why our relationship with Iran has been so fraught for the past three decades.

    Iran and the United States have had a difficult relationship long before Iran became the country it is today, but the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis completely froze the relationship ad infinitum. Now, 30 plus years later, we are finally talking again and America can show that we can do more than the cowboy style diplomacy that has defined us for the past three decades. We can show that there is another path to take.

    What President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and countless other nameless officials have done is score a historic diplomatic coup almost entirely to the Western world's liking. Iran has agreed to cease enriching uranium over 5% and dismantle all of their abilities to enrich above that percentage, dilute or convert their entire stockpile that is currently over 5%, and cease installing centrifuges of any type. Iran has also agreed to only use its current nuclear capabilities to replace damaged machines, ensuring that they will not use the six months to just "buy time."

    Not surprisingly, most Republicans and some Democrats are decrying this historic agreement. Their reasons vary, but almost always boil down to this argument: America is the world's sole super power and we must work our will on the entire world. We can not accept any deal with Iran that Israel won't accept. And we can not trust Iran to follow through on its commitments, so why try this deal in the first place?

    I'm here to suggest that there's another way. There is the way that our President and this Administration took. Can anyone tell me why we should not try to pursue a diplomatic agreement with Iran? Why should we always be marching towards another war if there is another way to curb their nuclear ambitions? And what will the unintended consequences be if the United States or Israel attacks Iran? We have had ten plus years of this "War on Terrorism." I'm ready to pursue another path.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: The deal that President Obama recently announced regarding Iran's nuclear program is a big deal. It's actually hard to put into words how big of a deal this agreement is. Before we can dive too much into why this agreement is so historic, we need to remind ourselves of why our relationship with Iran has been so fraught for the past 33 years.

    Iran and the United States have had a difficult relationship long before Iran became the country it is today, but the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis completely froze the relationship ad infinitum. Now, 30 plus years later, we are finally talking again and America can show that we can do more than the cowboy style diplomacy that has defined us for the past three decades. We can show that there is another path to take.

    What President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and countless other nameless officials have done is score a historic diplomatic coup almost entirely to the Western world's liking. Iran has agreed to cease enriching uranium over 5% and dismantle all of their abilities to enrich above that percentage, dilute or convert their entire stockpile that is currently over 5%, and to cease installing centrifuges of any type. Iran has also agreed to only use its current nuclear capabilities to replace damaged machines, ensuring that they will not use the six months to just "buy time."

    Not surprisingly, most Republicans and some Democrats, are decrying this historic agreement. Their reasons vary, but they almost always boil down to this argument: America is the world's sole super power and we must work our will on the entire world. We can not accept any deal with Iran that Israel won't accept. And we can not trust Iran to follow through on its commitments, so why do it in the first place?

    I'm here to suggest that there's another way. There is the way that our President and this Administration took. Can anyone tell me why we should not try to pursue a diplomatic agreement with Iran? Why should we always be marching towards another war if there is another way to curb their nuclear ambitions? And what will the unintended consequences be if the United States or Israel attacks Iran? We have had ten plus years of this "War on Terrorism." I'm ready to pursue another path.
    You make good sense. In this forum. Good luck.... you have people in here preaching nonsense. Life isn't hard...it's just life. People made it this way. Just imagine if som these forum member were running things...SCARY.

    You always post sensible positions. I'm sure there's someone in this forum that will respond to your post in the complete opposite. Some one here will be offended and want to bless you with their opinion.

    Once again......Good thought...a true liberal
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I agree with Jared. There is nothing to lose by trying, and certainly President Obama is risking his own "capital" to pursue this. I believe that the greatest risk for the deal getting undone is our own Congress, especially the hard right war hawks that have never had a good word to say about Iran. They follow Netanyahu's every word...they are the "Israel Firsters," which, by the way are primarily the Christian Reconstructionists and not the Jewish community, which largely is cautiously supportive of this deal...or at least not expressing outright opposition.

    Kevin Drum of Mother Jones had an interesting article yesterday:

    Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, November 25, 2013: Conservatives Have No Incentive to Support a Deal With Iran

    "If a Republican supports the interim deal and it then falls apart, they're unmasked as a sucker, both for trusting the Iranians and for trusting Obama. If they support an interim deal and it produces a permanent deal, they've helped facilitate surrender to the enemy—for you can be sure that any permanent deal with Iran will be viewed as a sellout. The sad truth is that supporting the interim deal, even tentatively, is a lose-lose proposition for most Republican politicians these days. They don't care about you or me or the Beltway consensus. They care about the base. And the base has no interest in seeing Satan make a deal with the devil."

    You can read more of Drum's analysis at the above link.

    I think that description fits. For many on the far right, they don't even know where Iran is on the map. Their only concern is how it is perceived by their radical base. If it comes to a vote, will Jim DeMint's Heritage Action Group score this one as well? Or maybe just the threat of scoring it will force opposition by some Senators where none currently might really exist.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    It just makes sense to negotiate a deal. The way America has been trying to threaten is not working. Another way is best to do it the way Obama has initiated. Just like football, if you can't make third down, you punt.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Amc you say that ..."The way America has been trying to threaten is not working."...

    Maybe. Another way to look at is the way America has been trying to threaten is EXACTLY why Iran agreed to this deal. Which is true? None of us know for sure, but I just hope this agreement works and produces the desired outcome.

    If Iran tests its first nuke in the next few months, then we will see that maybe Israel was right and we were wrong. We'll see.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    jamesn Wrote: Amc you say that ..."The way America has been trying to threaten is not working."...

    Maybe. Another way to look at is the way America has been trying to threaten is EXACTLY why Iran agreed to this deal. Which is true? None of us know for sure, but I just hope this agreement works and produces the desired outcome.

    If Iran tests its first nuke in the next few months, then we will see that maybe Israel was right and we were wrong. We'll see.
    One always wants to negotiate from a position of strength, which is exactly what the United State has done. We instituted a brutal round of sanctions that has ravaged their economy and pretty much brought them to their knees. They need revenue badly and came to us hat in hand, which is evident with the deal that we recently reached.

    There is little to zero chance of Iran ever actually using a nuclear weapon and everyone should understand that. What drives me nuts is that Israel isn't actually worried about Iran using an atomic weapon, but having the capability to do so. That is a huge distinction. Just because a country has the capability to do something does not mean they will do it. I understand that Iran has used their hatred of Israel to whip up public sentiment, but who in their right mind actually thinks they would be dumb enough to actually use one? They, and everyone else with a functioning brain, understand that would lead to the demise of their government and entire country because the West would strike back ten fold.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared I think Iran wants a nuke for the intimidation factor, to keep others at bay. Bragging rights, you might say, to be a member of the club. I don't think they'd try to launch one on a missile, airplane or an other conventional means unless it was a last resort. A conventional nuke attack is not the main threat, a terrorist attack is the main threat. A conventional attack could be traced back to them.

    This is what they could do: They could "allow" a terrorist group to get one and then try to smuggle it to Israel or America, or wherever. THAT is the threat. It may be a full fledged nuke or a dirty bomb. There'd be lots of volunteers for the mission.

    Iran wants a scenario that would allow the nuke to be used without a way to trace it back to them. It could be on a shipping container on a freighter, small fishing boat, submarine, cargo plane...

    Who would be crazy enough to do anything like that? The same people who would export all kinds of terrorism to all parts of the globe. The people from the same part of the world where people volunteer to wear suicide vests by the hundreds or thousands. Sounds crazy to us Americans sitting here in America, but they are not like us, and don't think like us.

    "Peace in our time." It was Neville Chamberlain who made the peace deal with Hitler. It bought Hitler more time to do more building and planning. Sound familiar?
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    The problem with having responsibility for nuclear weapons and capabilities of aggressive attacks is the existence of the weapon. To have the nuclear weapon, a country has a serious responsibility to not use it, so, why have it? When I was in the US Navy and my experience with Polaris and Poseidon, there was much discussion on a single submarine's capability to destroy a continent. Depending on warheads and strategic placement a continent can be destroyed. Now, consider the placement of dozens of submarines with newer delivery systems capable of up to 20 warheads on a single ICBM. A lot of damage can be experienced. England, France, Canada, Russia, China and America have many submarines and surface craft that have nuclear capability. There is also the land-based missile delivery systems and of course, aircraft. Does Iran having the ability to have nuclear weapons mean anything more or less in the world. I don't get it. If the world is already populated with nuclear weapons than what does one more country having that ability suggests anymore danger to the world? Now, look at Israel, harboring nuclear weapons in it's own right, should be disturbed the most. Why? Iran has suggested that Israel be destroyed. Words are being traded between these Middle Eastern countries that make this part of the world a powder keg. I don't support Iran for having nuclear weapons, just as I don't support anybody anymore for having them. Having some training in this area of nuclear damage, I don't like it. We were trained in the basic thought these weapons are "deterrents". Ok, I buy that. We have the nuclear weapon, but don't use it. The first time it is used in retaliation or an aggressive act, you only have to look at Japan where it was used. Ask these people, what it is like to have your flesh burned off, your eyes burned out of the sockets, and the slow death of radiation sickness. I'm very sorry for Israel and would probably behave the same way by keeping nuclear weapons away from Iran at all costs. This world is fooling itself if it is thinking nuclear weapons will not be used. The idiot that authorizes the use of nuclear weapons will have a doomsday wish, because too many countries have weapons and the technologies exist to make them invisible for transport into any location. A nuclear weapon detonation is highly probable, hopefully not in America, but it cannot be prevented. Nuclear weapons are like Pandora's Box. If you open the box all hell comes out. Nuclear weapons are no different. A bigger gun you don't want to fire, because you'll destroy more than the enemy. Your loved ones, friends, family and yourself will be destroyed with everyone else, which is why the use of nuclear weapons is called a, "death wish". Just when a country believes that all the enemies have been destroyed, they will experience an attack to their most treasured resource, their own people. There's too many nuclear weapons. We are all the enemy to each other. So what if Iran has a nuclear weapon, it's going to happen, we can't stop it. Iran has idiots too, because their anxious to destroy Israel, so they must have a death wish for themselves.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: The problem with having responsibility for nuclear weapons and capabilities of aggressive attacks is the existence of the weapon. To have the nuclear weapon, a country has a serious responsibility to not use it, so, why have it? When I was in the US Navy and my experience with Polaris and Poseidon, there was much discussion on a single submarine's capability to destroy a continent. Depending on warheads and strategic placement a continent can be destroyed. Now, consider the placement of dozens of submarines with newer delivery systems capable of up to 20 warheads on a single ICBM. A lot of damage can be experienced. England, France, Canada, Russia, China and America have many submarines and surface craft that have nuclear capability. There is also the land-based missile delivery systems and of course, aircraft. Does Iran having the ability to have nuclear weapons mean anything more or less in the world. I don't get it. If the world is already populated with nuclear weapons than what does one more country having that ability suggests anymore danger to the world? Now, look at Israel, harboring nuclear weapons in it's own right, should be disturbed the most. Why? Iran has suggested that Israel be destroyed. Words are being traded between these Middle Eastern countries that make this part of the world a powder keg. I don't support Iran for having nuclear weapons, just as I don't support anybody anymore for having them. Having some training in this area of nuclear damage, I don't like it. We were trained in the basic thought these weapons are "deterrents". Ok, I buy that. We have the nuclear weapon, but don't use it. The first time it is used in retaliation or an aggressive act, you only have to look at Japan where it was used. Ask these people, what it is like to have your flesh burned off, your eyes burned out of the sockets, and the slow death of radiation sickness. I'm very sorry for Israel and would probably behave the same way by keeping nuclear weapons away from Iran at all costs. This world is fooling itself if it is thinking nuclear weapons will not be used. The idiot that authorizes the use of nuclear weapons will have a doomsday wish, because too many countries have weapons and the technologies exist to make them invisible for transport into any location. A nuclear weapon detonation is highly probable, hopefully not in America, but it cannot be prevented. Nuclear weapons are like Pandora's Box. If you open the box all hell comes out. Nuclear weapons are no different. A bigger gun you don't want to fire, because you'll destroy more than the enemy. Your loved ones, friends, family and yourself will be destroyed with everyone else, which is why the use of nuclear weapons is called a, "death wish". Just when a country believes that all the enemies have been destroyed, they will experience an attack to their most treasured resource, their own people. There's too many nuclear weapons. We are all the enemy to each other. So what if Iran has a nuclear weapon, it's going to happen, we can't stop it. Iran has idiots too, because their anxious to destroy Israel, so they must have a death wish for themselves.
    Yes you've got the picture that indeed these weapons are tools for armagedon; the only thing I do not agree on is that you presume that the U.S. will always restrain itself not to use these; until now we threaten anyone on the globe with it who does not comply with our policies etc. I call that "blackmail" On the other hand who says that we may not get a "dictator" here in the future who may use these things to extend his power etc.

    The thing is we are spending and spending on war equipment also faster more sophisticated delivery tools for these weapons, why? This arms race will be a prelude to WWIII for sure. My point is all these weapons should be destroyed worldwide. The US alone has more killing power than all the countries combined, so are we going to rule the world like Hitler tried to do?
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    America wins no record on numbers of nuclear weapons, including China and Russia. Even the little countries such as Pakistan, North Korea, India, Israel, and maybe even Iran (someday) hold capabilities to destroy every city in the United States. It's not the numbers, it's the detonation, because one weapon detonated breeds more detonations. So, the first idiot that fires will be followed by other idiots. The delivery is the tricky part of deployment, which there are most likely many brainy people out there in the world that holds the key to transporting a weapon of mass destruction. It's scary, I don't like it, and it makes evidence for a probable occurrence of annihilation. Because there are so many nuclear weapons in existence, there is a big problem for every country to question why they should dismantle their "deterrent". The weapon has been created and the dare to be used exists, so what do you do? I can't answer that. I know what I would prefer and that is every country in the world dismantle their nuclear stockpiles, but I doubt that will ever happen. Image North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, America, Russia, China, Britain, France, Canada, Australia, and whoever else we fail to mention working together to dismantle their entire stockpiles of nuclear weapons. It would be great, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen. It will take a greater POWER to convince our world to do this. Are you ready? Yes, maybe God will intervene.

    I looked up on Iran's military arsenal and found Germany, United States, Russia, China and North Korea has been selling/giving them old weapons and military surplus. Ships, submarines, tanks, missiles, and kinds of weapons. Although I see nuclear weapons accompanying their list of armament in the future, if not already, I can see why Israel is questioning why any deal is being made with the Iranian leaders. Nobody can stop it, it will happen. One thing I have always thought made sense was investing in bomb shelters. I might have one some day and probably use it first for growing mushrooms and canning vegetables. In my part of the country are many caves. Some of these caves are so large that businesses have used them for warehousing and production. Semi-trucks drive miles underground on highways built for access. There's even the annual cave run event for marathoners. I have often thought while digging for my bomb shelter that running into cave access that this would be a great situation.

    All this discussion on nuclear weapons is for media hypes, comic books and movies. I have always thought humanity's greatest threat is the unseen weapon from biological organisms. There are hundreds of laboratories in the world that work with biological and chemical agents. Some of these labs perform research into creating new biological organisms than finding late something to destroy it if ever is released into the environment. The world is not capable of defending itself naturally if a real bad biological organism is created, released and allowed to ravage freely across the planet. Humanity could be lost for ever. No nuclear weapon currently is capable of doing that for all I know. Scientists say that the worst nuclear catastrophe will not destroy mankind because there will be survival. However, a bad bug that can move rapidly across the environment, this could destroy mankind.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: America wins no record on numbers of nuclear weapons, including China and Russia. Even the little countries such as Pakistan, North Korea, India, Israel, and maybe even Iran (someday) hold capabilities to destroy every city in the United States. It's not the numbers, it's the detonation, because one weapon detonated breeds more detonations. So, the first idiot that fires will be followed by other idiots. The delivery is the tricky part of deployment, which there are most likely many brainy people out there in the world that holds the key to transporting a weapon of mass destruction. It's scary, I don't like it, and it makes evidence for a probable occurrence of annihilation. Because there are so many nuclear weapons in existence, there is a big problem for every country to question why they should dismantle their "deterrent". The weapon has been created and the dare to be used exists, so what do you do? I can't answer that. I know what I would prefer and that is every country in the world dismantle their nuclear stockpiles, but I doubt that will ever happen. Image North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, America, Russia, China, Britain, France, Canada, Australia, and whoever else we fail to mention working together to dismantle their entire stockpiles of nuclear weapons. It would be great, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen. It will take a greater POWER to convince our world to do this. Are you ready? Yes, maybe God will intervene.

    I looked up on Iran's military arsenal and found Germany, United States, Russia, China and North Korea has been selling/giving them old weapons and military surplus. Ships, submarines, tanks, missiles, and kinds of weapons. Although I see nuclear weapons accompanying their list of armament in the future, if not already, I can see why Israel is questioning why any deal is being made with the Iranian leaders. Nobody can stop it, it will happen. One thing I have always thought made sense was investing in bomb shelters. I might have one some day and probably use it first for growing mushrooms and canning vegetables. In my part of the country are many caves. Some of these caves are so large that businesses have used them for warehousing and production. Semi-trucks drive miles underground on highways built for access. There's even the annual cave run event for marathoners. I have often thought while digging for my bomb shelter that running into cave access that this would be a great situation.

    All this discussion on nuclear weapons is for media hypes, comic books and movies. I have always thought humanity's greatest threat is the unseen weapon from biological organisms. There are hundreds of laboratories in the world that work with biological and chemical agents. Some of these labs perform research into creating new biological organisms than finding late something to destroy it if ever is released into the environment. The world is not capable of defending itself naturally if a real bad biological organism is created, released and allowed to ravage freely across the planet. Humanity could be lost for ever. No nuclear weapon currently is capable of doing that for all I know. Scientists say that the worst nuclear catastrophe will not destroy mankind because there will be survival. However, a bad bug that can move rapidly across the environment, this could destroy mankind.
    Yes your story is correct; the only point I like to make is: why continue on this path while you and I know this will indeed bring us to the end of mankind; we need only one misstep by one "leader" to unleash all of what you wrote. Until now I've not seen improvement of leadership in our country, let alone in the middle east or elsewhere.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Even now we are again on the wrong path. Our planes ( an antique B52 and escort planes) flew over the disputed islands near China; China did make this a no fly zone, because it is disputed who owns these very small islands. Of course the US has to provoke the Chineese. On top of that our new ambassador to Japan (Kennedy) who has no diplomatic experience opens her mouth and needles the Chineese some more.
    Where are the brains in this country? First of this is a dispute between China and Japan, so no bussiness at all of the US. We never learn and stick our big noses into everything which is none of our bussiness, Are we forgetting China is the biggest lender to the US and therefore pays for all our missteps and stupid expenditures, like wars, war toys etc. Yes, we should kill the golden goose. Obama must be brainless for sure; what do you expect from an ex lawyer anyway?
  • Independent
    Brooklyn, NY
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    The UN General Assembly meetings this week offer President Obama a chance to capitalize on recent diplomatic developments with Syria and to extend a hand to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in the hopes of launching renewed negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Rouhani urged other leaders “to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue.” It is critical for Obama to show that his administration is willing to answer Iranian concessions with some relief of sanctions that Rouhani can bring to the Iranian people.

    Read more here