Thursday, September 10, 2015

Figuring out what people have figured out about Iran and its nuclear plans

...The way we see it, American public opinion seems to have intuited what one of Israel's sharpest and best-informed strategic minds is saying, chilling as it undoubtedly is. (His view is part of the reason we call the JCPOA the "Iran Nuclear Enablement Deal". And we think we're being factual, not irreverent or cynical.)

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
09 September '15..

It's been eight weeks since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action became a reality. Many news outlets would have written that as "been signed". Wikipedia's entry on the JCPOA, for instance, starts out with this definition:

an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union. [Wikipedia]

But as we pointed out ["29-Jul-15: Built not on trust but on... verification"], the JCPOA was not signed in Vienna and will not be signed there or anywhere else. (We explain in that post.) This has been carefully and repeatedly explained to the Iranian people by the people who run the Iranian regime. In fact, ordinary Iranians appear overall to have a better grasp of what the JCPO does and does not mean for them and their interests when compared with citizens of other places.

In the West, where optimism frequently trumps reality, the JCPOA and what it stands for continues to be seriously misunderstood.

How much support does it have in the US? Depends whom you ask.

The issue is with the people's representatives in Washington right now. There, the threshold which the Obama administration had to cross to overcome Congressional rejection seems to have been passed a few days ago ["In Win for Obama, Iran Deal Assured of Passage", Vice of America, September 2, 2015]. Seems to, because so far it's all pledges by politicians which, forgive the cynicism, are not always worth the paper they're not written on. But everyone seems to agree that whatever had to be done in the Senate and the House from an Obama standpoint has been done, and the rest is predictable, more or less.

But if you ask the American people, the picture looks entirely different: black-and-white different. The latest numbers from Pew Research Center ["Support for Iran Nuclear Agreement Falls", Pew, yesterday] tell a clear, unambiguous and - if you're a politician with principles - depressing story: US public support for JCPOA, very low on the day it was signed - sorry, agreed, no we mean finalized - has dropped precipitously and steadily since then. The more people know about it, the more they want it stopped.

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