Jeffrey LewisParis Negotiations Update 13: IAEA "Acquits" Iran; Hardliners Fighting Back

The IAEA report on Iran concludes that “All the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities.”

Calling the report a “qualified acquittal,” a Western diplomat told Reuters that “the U.S. doesn’t stand a chance” of having Iran referred to the Security Council on November 25.

David Albright made a comment that captured the skepticism that many people feel. He suggested that any suspension would be short lived because Iran had “not taken a strategic decision to abandon its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

Albright is missing the point. Negotiating an agreement is forcing Tehran to make a strategic decision.

The impact that an agreement may have on the Iranian program is precisely why conservative MPs are trying to undermine it. Reuters carried a story on the conservative backlash, quoting one MP as having said that the agreement “is undoubtedly an indefinite suspension of uranium enrichment which was previously rejected by Iran. As a representative of the Iranian nation, I express my deepest regret for accepting such an agreement.”