Here are two of the hard facts of life: you only get to make peace with your enemies, and any such deal with an adversary is filled with risk.
Usually peace between enemies only occurs when the risk of not making a deal seems worse than the risk of agreement.
So it was, I believe, with the US and five allies, agreeing to end some economic sanctions against Iran and welcome it back to the community of world economic and political powers, in exchange Iranian acceptance of limitations on its development of nuclear weapons and a system of international inspections to enforce them.
Not making a deal, went the logic, would force Iran to press ahead on nuclear technology that would eventually make it more militarily dangerous at a time when it was already politically isolated and aggrieved.
But such agreement, even if it promises to stabilize peace, does not necessarily create accord, much less real collaboration and harmony. Today, we’re going to look at Iran since it signed the nuclear weapons agreement. Has it gotten the economic benefits and political acceptance it bargained for? And if not, why not?
And has the agreement made Iran more co-operative, less dangerous, as a member of the world economy, particularly the oil market? And has it changed Iranian behavior as a big power in its region? If so, what’s the evidence in places like Iraq, and Syria? And in policies involving Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gaza Strip?
Our guest today is RAND Corporation senior Iran analyst Alireza Nader.