Can Obama’s Iran Deal Outlive His Presidency?
By Josh Rogin
“If the deal is not submitted to Congress, I and many others will make clear that Barack Obama will be in office for 23 months and I will be in office for 6 years. And the Iranians should take that into their calculation as they negotiate with Barack Obama’s team,” one Republican lawmaker told a group of reporters Wednesday in a roundtable discussion held on a background basis.
Experts who support the White House’s Iran negotiations say such threats are largely bluster, and that if the Obama administration is able to reach a deal with Iran now, it will be very hard for the next president to stand against it.
“If you are planning something two years down the road, you can do all the planning you want, but it means very little because who knows what the situation will be then,” said John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World.
After all, said Isaacs, the next president wouldn’t just be derailing a U.S.-Iran agreement, but undoing the work of seven countries, including close U.S. allies such as the U.K. and Germany. If a deal is working at least reasonably well until 2017, and the Iranians are mostly complying, efforts to change or repeal it would risk putting the U.S. and Iran back on a path to war — or at least that is the argument the pact’s supporters will make.
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