Iranian Arms and the Spirit of the Deal

Speaking at the end of a nuclear security summit on Friday, President Obama argued that while Iran was living up to the “letter” of the nuclear deal it made with the West, it was still violating the “spirit” of the pact. But, as I noted yesterday, he framed the problem as one in which it was the Islamist regime and its potential Western business partners that would lose out. Actions such as violations of missile test bans or shipping weapons to Hezbollah might scare away foreign investment. But he didn’t seem to think the consequences of Iran’s provocative behavior went farther than that. The president’s confidence in the wisdom of his policy of engagement is such that he views those Americans who continue to point out the foolishness of his policy as being the moral equivalent of Iran’s Islamist hardliners. Though he doesn’t wish to be accused of ignoring Iranian behavior, he nevertheless treats it as insignificant. But yesterday, we got a reminder of why other nations in the Middle East, both Israel and its Arab neighbors, regard the question of the spirit of the deal very differently.

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Iranian Arms and the Spirit of the Deal

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