Maybe We Should All Read the Iran Deal Before We Take a Stand On It


Paul Waldman has already rounded up a few Republican reactions to the Iran deal, so I’ll just steal this paragraph from him:

Scott Walker said it “will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.” Jeb Bush called it “dangerous, deeply flawed, and short-sighted.” Marco Rubio said it “undermines our national security.” And as usual, Lindsey Graham wins the award for the most unhinged conclusions: the deal is “akin to declaring war on Sunni Arabs and Israel,” he told Bloomberg News. He also said: “You’ve created a possible death sentence for Israel.”

And here’s some more:

“This ‘deal’ will only embolden Iran,” said House Speaker John Boehner. It “appears to further the flawed elements of April’s interim agreement,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And even Bob Corker was critical: “I begin from a place of deep skepticism that the deal actually meets the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

So here’s the thing: Not a single one of these comments suggests why the deal is such a bad one. It just is. We’re left with two possibilities:

  1. All of these guys have read the agreement, and they have specific criticisms but just don’t feel like sharing those with us.
  2. They haven’t read the agreement and have no real idea what’s in it, but oppose it anyway.

I’m going with Door #2. Anyone want to take the other side of that bet?

And by the way, in the interest of fairness you could say pretty much the same thing about a lot of liberals, who seem to be jubilant about the deal but haven’t really explained exactly what’s so great about it. Maybe all of us could stand to take a deep breath and spend some time letting experts examine the deal language before taking maximal positions on it.

In the meantime, it looks like a decent agreement to me after a first look at the deal outline—certainly better than doing nothing and letting Iran build a bomb whenever it wants, anyway. But I’ll wait to see what nuclear experts have to say before I go any further. A few days won’t kill me.

UPDATE: Obviously not everyone agrees with me. A spokesman for Hillary Clinton said the Iran deal was “a really good first step,” etc., but “at the same time, she also is going to read it.” National Review’s Patrick Brennan is having none of it:

Yes, it’s a long agreement, only released to the public early this morning, but that has stopped almost no one on earth from forming an opinion of whether they think it is a good or bad deal by this afternoon. The questions at hand are complicated, but not that complicated. As with the trade debate (until the very last minute), Hillary Clinton isn’t deliberating, she’s obfuscating.

So there you have it. Everyone else formed an opinion instantly without bothering to read the actual agreement, so what the hell is up with Hillary? She should be ashamed of herself for showing an interest in anything other than affinity outrage (or glee). Reading is for appeasers.

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