As the New York Times reports:
Iran and a group of six nations led by the United States said they had reached a historic accord on Tuesday to significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.
The deal culminates 20 months of negotiations on an agreement that President Obama had long sought as the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency. Whether it portends a new relationship between the United States and Iran — after decades of coups, hostage-taking, terrorism and sanctions — remains a bigger question.
Mr. Obama, in an early morning appearance at the White House that was broadcast live in Iran, began what promised to be an arduous effort to sell the deal to Congress and the American public, saying the agreement is “not built on trust — it is built on verification.”
Leading Jewish progressive advocacy group J Street praises the agreement in a statement today:
The deal is complex and multi-faceted, and it will take some time to analyze all its features. However, from what we have seen so far and what we have learned from President Barack Obama and the negotiators, this agreement appears to accurately reflect the parameters set forth in the April 2 framework.
It also appears to meet the critical criteria around which a consensus of US and international non-proliferation experts has formed for a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
We congratulate President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the other members of the P5+1 for having the resolve, determination, patience and persistence to bring such a difficult negotiation to a successful conclusion.
It will be important for Congress to carefully review this agreement on its merits and at the same time be mindful of the likely consequences of its rejection: a collapse of diplomacy and international sanctions as Iran pushes forward with a nuclear program unimpeded. [Pols emphasis]
Don’t tell any of this “diplomacy” stuff to GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who is vowing to help scuttle the deal:
“The economic sanctions should be strengthened and only relaxed when Iran stops engaging in state-sponsored terrorism,” said Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran. “From my experience in the region, watching Iran fund terrorist attacks against my fellow Marines, I have learned that Iran cannot be trusted. I will stand with our ally Israel in opposing this agreement when it comes before Congress.”
Meanwhile, House freshman class president Rep. Ken Buck is more or less having a nuclear meltdown of his own via Twitter:
Rep. Doug Lamborn says flat-out–we’re going to war “in all likelihood.”
The deal seems worse than I thought was possible. It seems this administration has already capitulated on even the minimal goals that were stated at Lausanne. The concessions are staggering. We will not have the “anytime-anywhere” inspection regime, Iran will not dismantle its centrifuges but instead would be assisted by the major powers in their research and development. Finally it seems that the administration has capitulated even on the U.N arms embargo that will be lifted in five to eight years.
Do not be fooled. The options are not between a bad deal and war; on the contrary, it is a bad deal that in all likelihood will pave the way to war, and it is our task to prevent that from happening.
Rep. Scott Tipton’s statement is perhaps a bit less incendiary in its rhetoric, but still claims the deal “would further destabilize the Middle East, cements Iran as a permanent nuclear threat to our allies in the region as well as our own national security interests, and rewards Iran’s bad behavior.”
As you can see, there’s a large disconnect between…well, Republicans, at least Colorado’s Republican congressional delegation, and the overwhelming majority…of the rest of the world.
We tried several variations, but there’s just no nice way to say that.