Reactions to the Iran deal

The big news today is the announcement of a deal between the P5+1 nations and Iran that would result in the easing of some of the tensions between Iran and the west, with the quid pro quo being restrictions imposed on Iran’s nuclear program in return for a lifting of sanctions. Julian Borger lists what he sees as the key points of the deal.

As is often the case, media coverage has focused on the reaction in the US and Israel and not much on what Iranians think. Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain have rounded up some of the reactions from the people of that country and the sentiment seems to be one of largely guarded optimism.

The optimistic Iranian view is grounded in the expectation that the deal will usher in a normalization of relations between Iran and the West, lifting both the sanctions regime and the threat of war.

But much Iranian public opinion, while positive, is more nuanced and guarded. Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University (who was one of the individuals targeted for NSA spying), has devoted most of his career to advocating for a normalization of U.S./Iran relations and the lifting of the sanctions regime. To the extent this deal accomplishes that, he said today in an interview with The Intercept, he supports it, though if it ends up confined only to nuclear issues, “then it will be very bad for both countries.” Amirahmadi added that the mood in Tehran is, in general, “very happy.” Ordinary Iranians, he said, “obviously like what has happened” primarily because “they expect money to arrive, which will help the economy and create jobs.”

Greenwald and Hussain conclude, “American journalists, who pride themselves on “neutrality” and “balance,” should spend some time considering how much of a platform they give to Israelis and how little they give to Iranians. Whatever one’s views, hearing from Iranians themselves about their own country – rather than relying on Israeli and American critics – is a prerequisite to journalistic fairness.”

Philip Weiss says that the deal has caused a bit of a crisis for the Israel lobby as they are not sure that they can defeat the deal despite the angry denunciations by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some heated anti-deal rhetoric from the neoconservatives.


  1. says

    Greenwald and Hussain conclude, “American journalists, who pride themselves on “neutrality” and “balance,” should spend some time considering how much of a platform they give to Israelis and how little they give to Iranians.

    Ah, but that would mean addressing two things which the corporate media don’t want to admit:

    1) Most American “journalists” are in name only. They have “journalism degrees” but not the first clue about how to investigate a story. Stenographers only know how to copy and edit.

    2) Iran’s nuclear ambitions are and always have been about electricity and energy self-sufficiency. The bogeyman of “terrorists with nuclear weapons!” is an easy fiction to propagate, but is also easily refuted -- IF said “journalists” were actually qualified to do their jobs and did the research.

    The facts are there, but the stenographers don’t want to look for them. Telling the truth might hurt their career ambitions.

  2. Robert, not Bob says

    Leftover1under: I’m not sure the assumption that Iran’s nuclear goal is solely for electricity can be defended without being able to read the Iranian leaders’ minds. How do you know? I think they have had multiple goals, possibly including what’s actually happened (and different groups in government having different goals). But I don’t know either. You’re absolutely right about media journalism, though. I remember people predicting just that when the media ownership regulations were relaxed.

  3. says

    Why haven’t Pakistan and India been subjected to the same sanctions as Iran? Or, for that matter Libya and South Africa? Or Israel?

    Oh, right.

    What’s crazy is that Iran was held over a bucket and had their economy ruined for doing things that they are allowed to do under the NPT. Because, uh, reasons.

    It’s all total bullshit. The NPT is something I encourage people to read about. It is an odious document. Basically it says “sign here and we agree that we won’t use nuclear weapons on you preemptively.” Sound like nuclear blackmail? It sure is. It also says that the superpowers pledge to get rid of their nukes. Do you see that happening? Me either.

  4. says

    be sure to enlist in the US military if you believe Iran is such a danger and needs to be stopped.

    No, please. No. The military is already too full of authoritarian followers. Don’t send them more cannon-fodder because they’ll just find more guns to feed.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    Gosh, leftover1under, overreact much? Unless there’s another one of his posts that was deleted, I don’t see anywhere in Robert not Bob’s post where he said “Iran is such a danger” that it “needs to be stopped.” That was all your projection.

    You seem to be an absolutist. There can only be two positions — we must believe that all Iranians are peaceful and have no interest in a nuclear bomb whatsoever OR we must believe that they’re all hellbent on nuclear weapons at all costs and must be stopped by any means necessary before they get them. There’s no middle ground, and they all march in lockstep with one another. Furthermore, you can apparently read all their minds to ascertain this. Sheesh, you’re as bad as the warmonger crowd, who seem to view Iran with the same absolutist lens.

    Surely the truth is closer to what Robert said. There are all sorts of factions over there, (the same as in any country) some of which are disposed to be friendly to the West’s progressive values, and some of whom are quite horrible people similar in mindset, if not religion, to ISIS and other terrorist groups. Surely one of the strongest arguments in favor of this treaty is that, in Iran’s internal struggles, it strengthens our friends and weakens our enemies .

  6. StevoR says

    @3. Marcus Ranum :

    “The NPT is something I encourage people to read about. It is an odious document. Basically it says “sign here and we agree that we won’t use nuclear weapons on you preemptively.”

    Really? Not so sure that that’s right actually.

    You care to spell out exactly where that’s stated or even strongly implied?

    The five NWS (Nuclear Weapons States-ed) parties have made undertakings not to use their nuclear weapons against a non-NWS party except in response to a nuclear attack, or a conventional attack in alliance with a Nuclear Weapons State.

    Seems to suggest otherwise.

    Also :

    The NPT’s preamble contains language affirming the desire of treaty signatories to ease international tension and strengthen international trust so as to create someday the conditions for a halt to the production of nuclear weapons, and treaty on general and complete disarmament that liquidates, in particular, nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles from national arsenals.

    The wording of the NPT’s Article VI arguably imposes only a vague obligation on all NPT signatories to move in the general direction of nuclear and total disarmament, .. (snip) .. On the other hand, some governments, especially non-nuclear-weapon states belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement, have interpreted Article VI’s language as being anything but vague. In their view, Article VI constitutes a formal and specific obligation on the NPT-recognized nuclear-weapon states to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons, and argue that these states have failed to meet their obligation.[citation needed] The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in its advisory opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, issued 8 July 1996, unanimously interprets the text of Article VI as implying that

    “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

    The ICJ opinion notes that this obligation involves all NPT parties (not just the nuclear weapon states) and does not suggest a specific time frame for nuclear disarmament

    Hmm .. perhaps imperfect and not something that seems happening practiclaly inreality (a la most UN stuff?) but the gist of it seems clearly to be against proliferating nukes as the name states in my view.

  7. StevoR says

    I wish we could put the A & H nuclear Bomb genie back in the bottle and alldisarm and have a nuclear free world. I wish that would happen. I wish I could see that happening in reality. I’m afraid it doesn’t seem at all realistic.

    I’ve been to Hiroshima and the Genbaken Domu. I don’t know if youever read Children of the Dust but it is a novel with scenes and a scenario in it I’ll never forget. Ditto Sadako and her thousand paper cranes.

    I grew up in the Cold War fearing and imagining the Nuclear Holocaust. It’s powerful stuff, powerful memories and I mean what I’ve said above here. I do wish we could forget we could ever split the atom at least for military purposes -- but I do not think we actually can.

    I do not think that should stop us trying and the fewer places and people have nukes the better.

  8. jws1 says

    @9: It starts with the powerful, like the U.S., U.K., and Israel (always an obstacle to any peace which disallows them from region domination) giving up their nukes. Not holding my breath.

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