Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s deal with world powers may strengthen his hand against hardliners opposed to his policy of detente and bolster his popularity at home, where sanctions have drained the economy.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi royal who seems to own most everything there is to own -- a chunk of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, a piece of Twitter, all of Paris’s George V Hotel, the Savoy in London, and a Boeing 747 for his personal use -- was sitting in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago the other evening (he and Bill Gates own most of Four Seasons Holdings), offering up the view -- the view of an experienced negotiator from the Middle East -- that U.S. President Barack Obama is outmatched by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
World powers resume negotiations today toward an interim accord to limit Iran’s nuclear program in the face of Israeli objections, as the U.S. vowed to stand firm on oil and banking sanctions and punish violators.
It may seem like a stretch, but the Cold War crises that President John F. Kennedy faced hold important lessons for the nuclear impasse with Iran. Newly released historical files on the confrontations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s can help us better understand what to expect if the current negotiations with Tehran fail and we are soon confronted with a nuclear-armed Iran.
Iran and world powers failed to reach a deal limiting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, creating an opening for Israel, Saudi Arabia and other opponents to lobby against the first-step plan before negotiations resume in 10 days.