Nuclear deal: Iran celebrates while Israel grumbles

Is the deal with Iran a good one?

“Here in Iran, everybody is happy!” said Elias Hazrati in Etemaad (Iran). Months of diplomacy have finally paid off, “thanks to God and blessings to all the people on the side of prudence.” The U.S. and five other powers have recognized Iran’s right to enrich uranium under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and agreed to lift some of the oppressive economic sanctions, in return for Iran’s halting enrichment above 5 percent and stopping work on new centrifuges. It took “reason and tolerance, grace and tact” for our leaders and negotiators to get to this point. No wonder the whole nation is now rejoicing. The only downside is that it took us so long, said Jomhuri Eslami (Iran) in an editorial. “We could have reached a similar agreement” years ago but for the “absence of logic” during the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His “harsh language” ensured that Western forces would not negotiate with us. Under the more moderate and measured Hassan Rouhani, though, our negotiators were able to prevail, and their success is “positive not only for Iran but also for the region and the world.”

But will the Americans keep their promises? asked Hossein Shamsian in Kayhan (Iran). The U.S. is already talking out of the side of its mouth. While the other foreign ministers present at the historic meeting in Geneva said the deal recognizes Iran’s right to enrich, the U.S.’s John Kerry insisted it does not. That shows the U.S. is still “reluctant to take the smallest step toward recognizing our people’s inalienable rights.” The U.S. has certainly alienated its allies, said Hadi Mohammadi in Javan (Iran). Israel, “the occupier,” is furious, and so is “the pro-terrorist regime” of Saudi Arabia. Those two “have joined hands to disrupt security in the region and are deeply upset about being abandoned” by the U.S. They may yet try to sabotage the deal.

That’s right, because it’s a terrible deal, said The Jerusalem Post (Israel). Iran gets to keep its technological know-how and is merely slowed down a bit should it decide to build a bomb. All this pact does is to “provide the U.S. and other Western nations with a false impression that headway has been made while providing cover for the Iranians as they plod forward toward nuclear capability.” After 75 years, we’re back at “Munich, 1938,” said Dror Eydar in Israel Hayom (Israel). Just as the Nazis were allowed to keep the Czech lands they stole, so are the Iranians being allowed to keep their nuclear program. Once again, appeasement “will lead to war that is tenfold more terrible.”

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This isn’t appeasement, said Amir Oren in Ha’aretz (Israel). It’s containment. President Obama can’t roll back all Iranian nuclear capability, but his deal does contain Iran at a pre-bomb level, and that may work long enough for Iranians to change their own regime. Meanwhile, Obama has cemented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legacy as “a serial failure.” All Netanyahu can do now is rail impotently against the decisions of the superpowers. “In a new reality, Israel needs new leadership.”

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