While the talks with Iran, the world’s lone state sponsor of international terrorism, continue, President Obama says the chances for a deal are now less than fifty percent. A proverbial “paper deadline” of July 10 looms for the P5+1 nations to strike a deal that the rogue nation will acknowledge. Thus far, it seems that Iran believes they have the upper hand as they are pushing for the West to make major concessions to them in exchange for a “deal”.
Specifically, Iran wants to have restrictions lifted which will allow them to sell arms to the international community. Many of the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which have maimed or proved fatal to US servicemen were made or developed from technology stemming from Iran. In a related demand, Iran is looking for the United Nations Security Council to lift the restrictions on long range missiles according to Reuters. Brad Reifler said that these are particularly troubling matters to Israel which has been struck by tens of thousands of rockets over the past decade largely being launched by Hezbollah, a front group for Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is adamant that no deal with Iran must make any concessions on these two points. His sentiments were echoed by General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who addressed Congress on Wednesday. The general stated that Iran must be denied any concessions on the vital issues of arms trafficking and missile development.
For his part, President Obama insists that he is ready to walk away from the table if progress is not being made. He has repeated his affirmation that he will not cut a deal that puts the United States and our allies, such as Israel, at risk. That said, the six nations involved in talks with Iran believe that as long as progress is being made, the negotiations should continue.