September 28th, 2013
11:24 PM ET

Can Iran or U.S. say yes to a deal?

By Fareed Zakaria

In theory, it's possible to devise a rational process that requires concrete actions from Iran, verifiable checks by inspectors, and then a reciprocal easing of sanctions by the United States. But that would require Congress to behave in a rational manner – which is clearly a fantasy today. The most likely scenario is that any agreement with Iran – almost regardless of its content – would instantly be denounced by Republicans as a sell-out.

The Obama administration is conscious of this other side of American government. Much of the macho rhetoric emanating from the administration about Iran has seemed designed to inoculate it from charges of being soft. The reality is that it remains unclear whether Iran can say yes to a nuclear deal – and it remains equally unclear whether the United States could say yes as well. Rouhani and Obama are probably each looking at the other and thinking the same thing: Can he deliver?

For more, reader the Washington Post column

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Topics: GPS Show • Iran

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soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    September 29, 2013 at 2:42 am | Reply
    • WTCseven

      Just so you know I have reported you and your family to Homeland & Security, expect the SWAT team in the early hours of the morning

      A good patriot
      Regards

      September 29, 2013 at 7:41 am | Reply
      • ✠RZ✠

        “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism”.
        – George Washington

        “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
        – Samuel Adams

        It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

        I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
        – Thomas Jefferson

        September 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • mullahproblems

      Really? Fine, we fought communism with some vigor, fair enough. But we've never funded suicide bombers against civilians, or promised to destroy another Nation. The ayatollah is kind of a nutjob like that.

      September 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  2. john smith

    Coups Arranged or Backed by the USA
    Since 1945, the USA has been responsible either directly or indirectly of helping remove dozens of governments, many democratically elected, around the world. Sometimes the events are kept secret for years and only slowly come out. Other times, the events are the cause of demonstrations, anger and resentment at the time they occur.

    Year Country Reason Given Actual Reason
    1949 Syria Communism Elected government against USA political interests and pro-Palestinian.
    1949 Greece Communism Elected government against USA political and economic interests.
    1952 Cuba None Elected government against USA business interests.
    1953 Iran None Elected government against USA oil interests.
    1953 British Guyana None Access to sugar and bauxite.

    September 29, 2013 at 2:54 am | Reply
    • mullahproblems

      Awwww, are you upset the BIG BAD SUPER POWER made sure some governments were more friendly? Well that was 50-60 years ago, since then we've deposed dictators and psychopaths, what's Tehran done, funded terrorists, killed civilians and use kids as human shields. Don't hide who the bad guy is, or even better go back to your hole in Tehran, the counter-revolution is coming for folks just like you.

      September 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  3. JAL

    I remember when the Dallas Cowboys had a great team in the 90's. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and others. The San Francisco 49ers had a great team as well. They had a dominant player, one that we in Dallas loathed, and his name was Deon Sanders. This guy was electrifying. A game changer. Then, there was a trade and Deon played for the Cowboys. Everyone in Dallas loved him, I mean it was a learning situation for history.

    September 29, 2013 at 3:31 am | Reply
    • JAL

      Comprehensive Advanced Technology Initiative, coming soon and progressing very well (in my opinion).

      September 29, 2013 at 3:48 am | Reply
      • JAL

        Patent submittal Nov 1.

        September 29, 2013 at 3:52 am |
  4. WTCseven

    God is a mathematician and i will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS remember the day he spoke to me & told me the US govt murdered 3000 of their own on 9.11. 01

    *** Xn=U.t+(a.t^2).1/2 ***

    (the above Eq. is with respect to the poorly publicised 3rd tower that fell on 911 where Xn represents 81 support columns as they fell, under Newton's laws of motion)

    September 29, 2013 at 7:12 am | Reply
  5. WTCseven

    Americans are profoundly dumb (as John Kerry himself said it, and actually said it more than once to avoid misunderstanding ... a bit rich coming from a degenerate idiot)

    Yanks: DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CRIMINAL GOVT to disarm you, give the rest of the world a break instead by disarming your own govt

    For your own sake do it before the federal reserve is done with bankrupting your once prosperous & beautiful country

    September 29, 2013 at 7:31 am | Reply
  6. j. von hettlingen

    No doubt a normalisation of the relationship between the US and Iran would take time. Yet much also depends on the development in the Middle East. Even if the US reconciles with Iran, it doesn't have much influence on Israel's and Saudi Arabia's foreign policies in the region. The two countries have a very troublesome relationship with Iran.

    September 29, 2013 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • mullahproblems

      Well Iran could do a lot if they stopped meddling in other nations affairs. I mean just stopping the funding of Assad and Hezbollah would prove a lot. Will they do it? Probably not.

      September 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  7. John Woodall, MD

    Farid states there are 9,000 Jews in Iran. There are 300,000 Baha'is. I'm grateful for the respectful treatment of the Jews in Iran and am pleased to see that the holocaust is no longer denied by the head of a government. But, these are pretty low bars to set for an indication that human rights will be respected in Iran. These are bare minimum standards and are to be expected. Whereas the Jews are often the scapegoats in many societies, in regard to Iran, it is the Baha'is who are the perennial scapegoats for every problem the country faces. What of the Baha'is' right to live? To work? To not have their homes and businesses destroyed? To educate their children? To bury their dead and expect that they stay buried? To equal treatment and protection under the law? To freedom from harassment and constant government incitement of the masses to harm Baha'is? To freedom from imprisonment without charge and the imprisonment of infants? The bell-weather for human rights in Iran is the regime's treatment of the Baha'is.

    September 29, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • mullahproblems

      They do the least amount possible and expect to be rewarded for it. Not mentioning the 200 odd people executed since Rouhani took power...

      September 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Reply
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    September 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    September 29, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
  9. Joseph McCarthy

    Can Iran say yes to a deal? Of course it can just like South Africa did some years ago. There is absolutely no reason for Iran and the U.S. not to get together, none at all. We need to just turn a deaf ear to these brainless hard liners who don't this to take place and forge ahead!

    September 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • vonrock

      Remember Arafat ?

      September 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • mullahproblems

      Look, Iran could say yes. But who rules Iran-the people? Or the brainwashed legions of IRGC troops and Mullahs. I want peace, I want a democratic Iran, but neither of those things are happening now, not until the Mullahs go bye-bye.

      September 29, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
      • Joseph McCarthy

        I tend to agree mullahproblems, except that we don't need a U.S. backed pseudo-democracy in Iran. This never worked for the people in South Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and is not working so well in Libya either! On the other hand, if you're talking about a genuine democracy, you'd be right. In fact, Iran already has a democracy!

        September 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  10. Nury Khozein

    Today I saw your interview with a Jewish member of IROI. I would appreciate it if you invite the religious minorities like Bahai's, Sunies, Muslims who have become followers of other religion, if they are still alive, also tribal minorities like Kurds, etc. Dear Farid you are a minority in this countries and I am sure you have been persecuted in one way or the other. Don't you think it is time to have a program about persecution of minorities in the world especially in Iran and specifically religious group and of course the largest religious minorities, Bahai's?
    Thanks.

    September 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • mullahproblems

      Thank you for being on top of things. I read about an 88 year old man being taken away because he was a Bahai'i-see for yourself rouhanijustice.com

      September 29, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  11. sand

    soon usa and britain is going to get a-bombed sky high death to the european west african filth.

    September 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
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