In the Arena

Iran Nuke Deal?

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This rather provocative story was placed on an inside page of the New York Times today: a nuclear deal with Iran is very possible, perhaps imminent. The argument–one I’ve cited in the past–is that the Iranians have been seeking the capability to build a bomb, not the weapon itself. They have achieved that capability, given the belated success of their fuel enrichment program and rocketry advances–and have sent some clear signals in recent weeks that they are willing to play ball with the rest of the world. Two signals are especially important: their willingness to have the Qom facility inspected and their willingness to ship low-enriched uraniam to other countries (Russia, France) for enrichment to medical grade.

There are still plenty of questions. Why the secrecy surrounding the Qom plant? Are there other facilities we don’t know about? But it is entirely possible that the Iranian regime has decided that it has enough trouble on its hands at home and no need to further antagonize the world. If so, this would be a real triumph for President Obama’s foreign policy. But, as always with the Iranians, that’s a fairly significant if…