Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Deal

The big offer has been made to Iran, and it is a sweet and tasty bag of carrots.

Iran and the United States had a rare moment of agreement Tuesday, using similar language to describe ''positive steps'' toward an accord on a package of incentives aimed at persuading Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.

Diplomats said the incentives include a previously undisclosed offer of some U.S. nuclear technology on top of European help in building light-water nuclear reactors. Other incentives include allowing Iran to buy spare airplane parts and support for joining the World Trade Organization.

The deal that Iran was offered was probably a necessity, and if we are extremely lucky, it'll work. I caution against idealism here, though. If Iran rejects this offer, then continuing talks is rather futile because it will be clear that Iran is not interesting in negotiating. In that case, we'll need to start steeling ourselves for our much less palatible options, i.e. the diplomatic "sticks" that we are carrying. If Iran takes the deal, we still shouldn't be lulled into a sense of security. Afterall, we had a deal with North Korea once, too, remember? That didn't stop Kim Jong Il's nuclear program. Whenever I see a deal like this, I think of a line uttered by Powers Boothe's Curly Bill Brocious in Tombstone in reference to Faustian bargains: "I'd take the deal, then crawfish and drill that ol' devil in the ass."

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