The Obama administration is on the defensive days before Iran nuclear negotiations are scheduled to resume in Geneva, as critics in Israel and in the U.S. Congress say Iran would concede too little and gain too much from an easing of international economic sanctions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of a potential agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which he denounced as a “very bad deal,” risks igniting the most serious U.S.-Israel dispute in years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of a potential agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, which he denounced as a “very bad deal,” threatens to ignite the most serious U.S.-Israel dispute in years.
One of the several dilemmas facing Obama administration officials in their chess match with Iran is this: At what point do they meet serious Iranian nuclear concessions (assuming, as I don’t, that these concessions are in the offing) with actual sanctions relief? If Iran shows itself willing to scale back dramatically its stockpiles of enriched uranium, or give up a substantial number of its centrifuges, wouldn’t the U.S. have to meet such gestures by lifting of at least some sanctions?
When Mohammad-Reza needed parts for his heater company in Iran last month, he carried a bagful of 500-euro notes on a plane to Dubai and paid his German supplier over coffee in a hotel lobby. Often, he says, he has to use even riskier channels.
For more than 15 years and more than any other world leader, Benjamin Netanyahu demanded sanctions against Iran to stop it from getting nuclear weapons. Now, as the sanctions are credited with weakening the Iranian economy enough to prompt a thaw between the U.S. and the Islamic nation, the Israeli prime minister is among the skeptics who remain unconvinced that anything significant has changed.