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First take

Probably you’d need to read the whole document – including the one secret section on the backend of the process – before you could fully evaluate the Iran nuclear deal announced yesterday. Is there anything we can reasonably grasp about it at this point? Foreign Policy magazine has a useful take on it (meshed with developments on the Greek economy) today, and it includes this: “no one can reasonably argue that it is not better to have some agreement that at least makes ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program a possibility for the foreseeable future. The key is how leaders in Iran and around the world act once the deal is in place. We have seen deals in the past that have simply not been effective. (See North Korea.) But there is a path forward with this deal that will certainly be better than the uncertainty that has hung over this issue for the past 13 years. If the deal’s terms are enforced and it translates into real inspections that are regularly and even aggressively conducted, where violations are marked without hesitation — and, of course, the Iranian government has the intent to honor its terms — this deal will be seen as successful.” So is it a good deal? Maybe; the potential is there; but ask again in another decade or two. In foreign relations, probably, thus is it ever. – rs

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