“Astonishingly Good” Iran Deal

There are a lot of things that still have to be worked out to make the “framework understanding” with Iran a real agreement, and a million details that non-experts will struggle to grasp. And like any multi-year agreement, it will take time to see if it’s working as intended.

But to the extend that the deal will depend on monitoring, inspections and verification of Iran’s behavior, there’s some very good news, per Max Fisher at Vox:

When Aaron Stein was studying nuclear non-proliferation at Middlebury College’s Monterey graduate program, the students would sometimes construct what they thought would be the best possible nuclear inspection and monitoring regimes.

Years later, Stein is now a Middle East and nuclear proliferation expert with the Royal United Services Institute. And he says the Iran nuclear framework agreement, announced on Thursday, look an awful lot like those ideal hypotheticals he’d put together in grad school.

“When I was doing my non-proliferation training at Monterey, this is the type of inspection regime that we would dream up in our heads,” he said. “We would hope that this would be the way to actually verify all enrichment programs, but thought that would never be feasible.

“If these are the parameters by which the [final agreement] will be signed, then this is an excellent deal,” Stein concluded.

It’s another bit of evidence that those already attacking an agreement that hasn’t quite been reached want no agreement at all.

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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.