U.S., Iran Reportedly Agree on Deal For More Nuclear Negotiations—Not Good or Bad News

Negotiators working out how much to tell the public



Iranian, U.S., Russian, Chinese, German, British, and French negotiators blew through a self-imposed Tuesday night deadline in negotiations of Iran's nuclear program that are being held in Geneva. They extended the deadline by a day, and reportedly today U.S., Iranian, and the other officials have come to an agreement on a basic nuclear deal, but, apparently, not on how much to disclose to the public. That part's apparently being negotiated now.

The AP reports:

Pressured by congressional critics in the U.S. who threaten to impose new sanctions over what they say is a bad emerging deal, the Obama administration is demanding significant public disclosure of agreements and understandings reached at the current round. Iran wants a minimum made public at this point, describing previous two-stage deals as detrimental to their interests, officials say.

The Iranians want any results from talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne described less as a deal and more of an informal understanding.

U.S. negotiators, possibly on the side of transparency! A recent Washington Post poll found that 59 percent of respondents supported a deal with Iran that would lift sanctions, but that the same percentage wasn't confident the deal would prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons—something the country's government denies it's doing. U.S. intelligence officials have been predicting Iran would acquire a nuclear bomb by all the way back to 2000. Saudi Arabia has suggested it would pursue nuclear weapons if Iran acquired them—currently Israel, which most countries in the region refuse to recognize, is the only country believed to possess nuclear weapons. 

On its own, an Iran deal isn't necessarily good or bad news—a deal that minimizes U.S. obligations in the matter moving forward would be best from the perspective of extricating the U.S. from its world policing "responsibilities."