Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's been a year since the Iran deal was signed. So far, it’s worked.

Vox asked Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, It's been a year since the Iran deal was signed. So far, it’s worked

His verdict is pretty upbeat: ‘I'm going to be roundly attacked for saying it, but I think it's gone very well,’ he says.

Lewis explains that the nuclear deal is, to the disappointment of critics, mostly working out as written. Iran is basically complying with the core parts of the agreement — such as limiting the number of centrifuges it has and eliminating its stockpile of highly enriched uranium that could quickly be converted to weapons-grade material — that make it harder for the country to make a nuclear weapon.

But the deal has also failed to satisfy some of its strongest proponents.

These folks — including some in the Obama administration — hoped that a nuclear agreement might reorient Iran’s foreign policy in a more pro-American direction. This hasn’t happened: Iran still hates Israel, props up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and supports Shia sectarianism in places like Iraq and Yemen."

But Lewis argues that anyone who was expecting that to happen was deluding themselves. The deal on the nuclear program was always just that: a deal on the nuclear program — not a deal on Syria or Israel. The problem with the Washington debate over the Iran deal, he says, is that it’s serving as a proxy for debates over US foreign policy — which distract from the core question of whether Iran is further away from a bomb than it was a year ago.

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