Here’s what I say to Iranians
Here is how I responded to PressTV (Iran’s English service) this morning (I’ll appreciate it if someone lets me know if they publish it in full, or not):
Q: How do you evaluate the deal? Does it cover US or West interests on Iran nuclear activity?
A: I am still reading it, but it appears to me to meet the April 2 parameters and covers the main US interests in preventing Iran from seeking or obtaining nuclear weapons.
Q: [The] Iranian foreign minister calls nuclear deal a ‘win-win solution’ and ‘new chapter of hope.’ Do you agree with this view?
A: It is certainly a win on the US side. He speaks for the Iranian side, so I guess I do agree that it is a win-win.
The question of hope is different. Americans hope for Tehran to end support for terrorism, behave differently in the region and respect the human rights of its own people. I don’t yet see much that gives hope on these issues.
Q: Does this deal lead to more cooperation between Iran and West especially US in regional and international issues?
A: Perhaps, but it doesn’t guarantee it. We’ll have to wait and see. Hostility to the US is one of the pillars of the Iranian regime. I don’t expect that to change, though the hostility may sound hollow in the wake of this agreement. Real cooperation will require an end to that hostility, to jailing of journalists, to support for Bashar al Assad, and to funding of Hizbollah and Hamas. What are the odds of that?
Q: What do you think about US Congress reaction especially Republicans to this deal? [Will] these act [to] help implement nuclear deal or harmful to it?
A: Some people in Congress are opposed to any deal. But I don’t think they have the votes to overcome the President’s veto. It will be a good thing if the deal is thoroughly examined in Congress and in the Majles.
Q: [Will] this deal have any effect on US presidential election or does it help Democrats in upcoming elections?
A: No, I don’t think it helps the Democrats. Implementation is likely to be controversial in the US.
Q: What do you think about Israel’s next approach or activity toward Iran after nuclear deal?
A: Best to ask them, but my guess is that they will protest, seek stronger US security cooperation, and then learn to live with the deal, as they did with the interim arrangement. If Iran violates the deal, they will be the first to protest, even though they say they don’t like it.