Zakaria: The shape of a deal with Iran
The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran.
April 12th, 2012
11:02 AM ET

Zakaria: The shape of a deal with Iran

In today's Washington Post, I lay out out the contours of a deal between Iran and the the “P5+1” - the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany. Here's an excerpt:

For any deal to stick, it has to be accepted by two groups. There are reasons to think Iran’s hard-liners, led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, might be amenable. Khamenei has consolidated power: He has beaten back the Green movement; accommodated one key rival, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; and sidelined another, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Khamenei has also given himself room to make concessions on the nuclear program.

Consider this categorical statement he made in February: “The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons . . . because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.” Khamenei might well have been laying the ground to explain concessions to his audience at home.

The Obama administration’s strategy is to tell Iran: All we are asking is that you demonstrate this in concrete actions. That’s a smart way to frame its demands. But if Iran does make concessions, the United States would have to accept them and relax some sanctions. And this is where the second important group, Republicans in Washington, could be an obstacle. If they demagogue any deal, or refuse to reciprocate on sanctions, there will be no deal.

The administration has handled its allies, Russia, China, the United Nations and even Tehran with skill. To succeed, however, it has to tackle its most formidable foe, with whom it has not had much negotiating success: Republicans.

Read on here.

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Topics: From Fareed • Iran

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. urgent


    Fares Raslan MD

    خبر عاجل وهام جدا جدا ::::::
    تقوم المخابرات العامة في دمشق بأخذ كميات من الدم الفاسد من المشافي الحكومية الى افرع السجون حيث يتم حقن المعتقل بكمية 5 سم من هذا الدم وعلى اثرها يتوفى وفاة طبيعة /يرجى النشر لجمعيات حقوق الانسان/
    By: شبكة اخبار حمص العدية (عاصمة الثورة السورية)
    reliable sources from my collegues syrian doctors in syria .
    the intelligence services in syria are collecting spoiled blood and injecting forcefully prisioners with 5 ml of it to let them die naturally ...please share to human rights watch and all human organizations around the world ....
    also they are sending 50 truks aday since 3 months ago those trucks going to hizboallah south of lebanon , full of weapons , cash, arms, rockets, and some chemical weapons please take a note this is an eye wotness ....why no body is doing any thing to those thugs , war criminal shiia thugs?

    April 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • JAL

      record video

      April 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    It's highly believable what the supreme leader Khamenei said about nuclear proliferation being against principles of Islam. Yet all these years Iran has been accused of clandestine nuclear activities and facing sanctions. Perhaps this brawl did inspire Iran to have a secret enrichment plant built underground near Qom, a plant in a mountain in order to safeguard its technology from an air attack. Iran said the Fordo fuel enrichment plant, would enrich uranium up to 5% and would have 3,000 centrifuges. Later it said the purpose of the plant was to enrich uranium to 20%, as well as carry out research and development. Now it's up to the regime to decide, whether it wants to comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty or face harsh sanctions.

    April 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  3. 100% ETHIO

    The picture on right looks a Mosque not a Nuclear Bomb.
    Probably, some people might not differentiate Mosques and Nuclears, since they are both erected tall and pointed to the Sky.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply

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