Iran deal just a beginning
To be sure, getting Iran to agree to any kind of nuclear pact, if only a six-month pause while talks continue on a permanent pact that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is a significant accomplishment.
But there are many pitfalls on the way to a final pact. First, of course, is whether Iran can be relied upon to abide by the agreement. Are they truly interested in an agreement, or just in lessening the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran?
Reportedly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and more importantly, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, support the deal. That is important, but again, this is a short term deal and their support may take a turn as thornier issues are discussed.
Another issue is whether we can satisfy our major ally in the Middle East, Israel, that Iran can be trusted. Israel officials are furiously warning the rest of the world that Iran can’t be trusted. They are keeping their military options open. Will Iran be willing to accept any further deals if Israel maintains its opposition?
It is obvious there is much hard work left to be done on this issue, but it is heartening to see that this agreement was reached.