The 24th hour came and went last night (actually early this morning Swiss time). The sun did rise at its appointed time a little later. What didn’t happen was an announcement that the major powers and Iran had reached a deal on nuclear weapons. As in all negotiations, the deadline is simply a marker that can be mored if the parties choose.
It remain an open question in the absence of an agreement whether negotiations will continue or whether Iran will walk away, persevere, and continue to build its nuclear capability.
Critics of the current negotiations call for holding out for a “better deal”. When asked what a better deal looks like, these critics offer larger and more significant dismantling of Iran’s nuclear industry (even the parts useful for peaceful nuclear energy) with no quick concession from the world powers on sanctions. Hmmm. Doesn’t sound exactly like negotiations to me. These positions sound exactly like “demands”… do it or else.
In fact critics of these negotiations, harken back to the hubris days leading up to invasion and occupation of Iraq. As with the Iraq WMD demands, cessation of negotiation with Iran can lead to only one place, another armed invasion in the Muslim world.
Critics argue, however, that war is not inevitable. They claim Iran will finally see the error of its ways and agree to tougher terms. Hmmm.
Why would the US, France, Great Britain, Germany, Russia and China not have already pushed for tougher terms and why would they suddenly see new light now? Doesn’t any think Iran pushed back? Never the less critics claim they want negotiations for a “better deal” and tougher sanctions to boot. Hmmm.
It is likely that the US, France, Great Britain, and Germany see restrictions on Iran similarly. Each wanting no further nuclear proliferation while still maximizing their business opportunities in the Middle East. Russia and China are most likely on a different page. Both countries, of course, want economic benefits, and are leery of nuclear weapons spreading to their Muslim ethnic minorities. Different than Europe and the US, Russia and China are more worried about precedents for meddling in other countries’ internal affairs. In short they see the economic embargo on Iran as a possible blueprint for ones that could be used against them in the future.
It should not be surprising then that what ever “deal” has been almost hatched might fall far short of what “neoconservatives” or AIPAC might want, but their myopic viewpoint does not include the importance of coexisting in the “real world” where Russia and China play. These countries are far more important than all the Middle East Countries combined.
A better deal is one reached by the major countries and not one hatched up in Tel Aviv.