Iran Deal 6
The Obama administration is facing another difficult choice with Iran: As Tehran takes apart much of its nuclear infrastructure to win sanctions relief, how vocally should the White House condemn Iranian violations of United Nations resolutions on other issues? Before the Iran nuclear accord, the White House regularly condemned Tehran’s tests. But now, officials say privately, they believe that the tests may be the work of angry elements in Iran’s military who hope to derail the nuclear accord and preserve their atomic infrastructure.
Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday publicly endorsed for the first time the July nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, state news agencies reported. But the provisional endorsement was accompanied by a warning that Tehran expected all sanctions to be lifted or it would walk away from the deal. The support of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the final step in an approval process involving the Supreme National Security Council, the Iranian Parliament and the Guardian Council. Iran can now begin putting in place the measures outlined in the agreement, including dismantling thousands of centrifuges used for enrichment and downsizing a heavy water plant so that it can no longer produce plutonium.
Iranians have always enjoyed rich private lives, some following Western trends and fashions, but behind closed doors. The state tolerated that, but insisted that people adhere to the strict laws on appearance and behavior in public spaces that were laid down after the Islamic revolution in 1979. But now, following the election of a moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, and the signing of the nuclear agreement this summer, Iranians are increasingly taking to the streets, this time not to challenge the government but to reclaim public spaces.
Former Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he would expect the United States to equip Israel with the arms that would enable it to attack Iran s nuclear facilities if needed. Barak made the statement last Thursday at an event at Harvard University, in response to a question about what measures that should be taken to prevent the continued development of Iran s nuclear program now that Tehran has signed a nuclear deal with the major world powers.
The Iranian currency market is in shock with the value of the national currency once again falling against foreign currencies and the dollar trading 150 toumans higher, despite expectations that the prospect of the nuclear agreement would strengthen the touman. The fall in the value of the national currency is significant because in the past two years the government has consistently tied the economic recovery to the nuclear negotiations and reaching a deal. Now, two months after the announcement of a deal with a flurry of foreign trade missions to Iran and the easing of certain financial and economic restrictions, the public expected a rise in the value of the national currency and a fall in the price of goods and services.
Khamenei and Rohani are offering starkly opposing visions of Iran’s post-deal future, reflecting their divergent attitudes toward the “Great Satan.” “We have announced that we will not negotiate with the Americans on any issue other than the nuclear case,” Mr. Khamenei said this month. By contrast, Mr. Rouhani said on Sunday that the nuclear agreement was “not the end of the way,” but “a beginning for creating an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation with various countries.”