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Iran: Deal or No Deal?


Today marks the deadline for the United States and five other world powers to thrash out a framework with Iran for a comprehensive nuclear pact to which the parties would agree by June 31.

After a (very brief) meeting Monday between the foreign ministers representing the so-called P5+1 — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany — and the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic, the mood at the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, turned from "optimism" to "gloom" according the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

That's because three major issues remain unresolved, an unnamed "Western diplomat" told Reuters.

They include the length of restrictions on Iran's nuclear research and development, the timetable for lifting international sanctions against Tehran and a mechanism to re-impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic if it cheats.

The dispatches from Lausanne suggest that Iran is having second thoughts about a deal. And not just because Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, was recently witnessed chanting "Death to America," and has absolutely no interest in normalizing relations with the nation he continues to refer to as "the Great Satan."

Indeed, as the P5+1 and Iran slouched toward today's deadline, the Khamenei regime became increasingly recalcitrant, refusing to ship any of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Russia (one of the P5), and refusing to sign a final nuclear agreement without immediate repeal of sanctions.

The fear for many, if not most, of the nearly 85 percent of Americans who view Iran unfavorably, according to the Gallup poll, is that the Obama administration is so desperate for an agreement that it will concede away the national security of the United States and its allies.

That's why a near veto-proof majority of Republicans and Democrats are backing a measure by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker to require the president to submit any agreement with Iran to Congress for its assent.

While the Obama administration maintains that the president can enforce such an international agreement unilaterally, the Constitution's "advice and consent" provision suggests otherwise.




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