Blogs: Paul Pillar

Fearing Success of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement

Paul Pillar

The real answer to the question, “Why the rush?” is that opponents of any agreement with Iran want to kill this particular agreement before it has a chance to demonstrate its success. If a couple of more years go by in which Iran continues to observe stringent restrictions on its nuclear program and its commitment to a non-nuclear-weapons future, it will become harder than ever for opponents to argue with a straight face that it would be in U.S. interests to destroy the arrangement that had brought about that result.

This dynamic involves another parallel with the politics surrounding the Affordable Care Act, in addition to that act being, like a nuclear deal with Iran, one of the biggest achievements for President Obama and thus among the biggest things that the anti-Obama party would love to kill. As successes of the ACA have continued to become clear, the fear has grown among members of that party that, as newly declared presidential candidate Ted Cruz has put it, Americans will come to like Obamacare so much that it will be more difficult than ever for Republicans to repeal it. As with Obamacare, what opponents of a nuclear agreement with Iran fear most is not the agreement's failure but rather its success.  

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Netanyahu's Latest Challenge to Obama

Paul Pillar

The real answer to the question, “Why the rush?” is that opponents of any agreement with Iran want to kill this particular agreement before it has a chance to demonstrate its success. If a couple of more years go by in which Iran continues to observe stringent restrictions on its nuclear program and its commitment to a non-nuclear-weapons future, it will become harder than ever for opponents to argue with a straight face that it would be in U.S. interests to destroy the arrangement that had brought about that result.

This dynamic involves another parallel with the politics surrounding the Affordable Care Act, in addition to that act being, like a nuclear deal with Iran, one of the biggest achievements for President Obama and thus among the biggest things that the anti-Obama party would love to kill. As successes of the ACA have continued to become clear, the fear has grown among members of that party that, as newly declared presidential candidate Ted Cruz has put it, Americans will come to like Obamacare so much that it will be more difficult than ever for Republicans to repeal it. As with Obamacare, what opponents of a nuclear agreement with Iran fear most is not the agreement's failure but rather its success.  

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