On Sunday, major world powers reached an agreement to scale back the Iranian nuclear program. In exchange, our nation and others will slightly lift some of the sanctions against Iran, but embargoes against Iranian banks and oil will remain in place. The interim deal was reached in Geneva, where the US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia crafted the diplomatic agreement. The deal calls for halting the installation of any additional centrifuges in Iran, and diluting that nation's stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium.
Shortly after it was announced, President Obama addressed the nation, saying “Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenges posed by Iran's nuclear program.” He added, “Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it.” However, almost immediately, members of both parties in Congress expressed skepticism about the deal. Republican Senator John Cornyn tweeted, “It's amazing what [the White House] will do to distract attention to Obamacare.” Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said that a “fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability.”
Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on the deal, calling it a “historic mistake.” However, it should be noted that many of the people criticizing this deal also said that diplomatic efforts in Syria would have no effect. However, those efforts have led to the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons machinery, and the ongoing destruction of their chemical weapons stockpile.
Despite what some believe, bombs and drones are not the only way to resolve international conflict, and this deal with Iran could keep our service men and women out of another senseless war. Negotiation doesn't make world leaders weak, it proves once and again that diplomacy is one of the best ways to resolve international conflicts.
The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.