Let’s Hear Some Specifics From Iran Deal Opponents

Greg Sargent is right: in the wake of the announcement today of a framework “understanding” for a Iran nuclear deal to be signed by the end of June, it’s time to ask Obama critics, most especially those thinking about running for president, exactly how they stand and what they would do if an agreement is reached.

For those who, like Scott Walker, are already promising to blow up such an agreement on his first day in office, it’s time, as Greg suggests, to ask him what he plans to do about the blowback from our European allies, who, after all, are full participants in the negotiations and will not look kindly on a key signatory cutting and running.

Beyond that, what do the critics think we should do? Seek a different, tougher agreement with different goals (e.g., an Iran with no nuclear capacity at all)? This would almost certainly require that the U.S. go it alone diplomatically. Or are the Scott Walkers of the world ready to follow John Bolton into outfront advocacy of war with Iran? And if that’s the case, where does that leave the fight against IS, which a lot of the same people are anxious to expand as well? Who’s going to replace Iran and its client Iraqi Shia militia in that battle? US troops? Guess we just need to nuke Iran while we are at it, since there are just not enough available boots to put on the ground in both places. Or I guess we could bring back conscription. It’s hard to say, until the critics stop second-guessing Obama and the others negotiating with Iran, and start proving they’ve thought this through beyond tomorrow afternoon.

Until then, Obama’s making a lot of sense, and he can already register one solid accomplishment this very day: Iran’s government TV carried his Rose Guard announcement–criticisms of Tehran and all–live.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.