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Iran Sanctions Showdown

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Iran Sanctions Showdown

Obama plays rough with Democrats who want to stiffen his diplomacy.

WSJ, Jan. 16, 2014

After Tehran agreed to implement November’s interim nuclear deal, President Hasan Rouhani on Tuesday turned to Twitter TWTR +4.46% : “Our relationship w/ the world is based on Iranian nation’s interests. In #Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.”

Back in Washington, President Obama hailed “this important step forward” and had some tough words of his own—for the U.S. Congress. He repeated his threat to veto a new Iran sanctions bill at last count co-sponsored by 59 Senators, all but accusing them of pushing America into another Middle Eastern war. We hope Senate Democrats keep Mr. Rouhani’s tweet in mind and don’t blink.

…..And Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi said this week that, “We can return again to 20% enrichment in less than one day and we can convert the [nuclear] material again. . . . I can say definitively that the structure of our nuclear program will be exactly preserved. Nothing will be put aside, dismantled or halted. Everything will continue, enrichment will continue.”

Meanwhile, the sanctions regime has already started to crack. The Administration says Iran will get $7 billion in gradual relief over six months, including $4.2 billion in Iranian funds frozen overseas and the rest by easing sanctions on Iran’s gold and precious metals trade, petrochemical exports and manufacturing goods. Others put the economic relief much higher…..

…..Americans are supposed to believe that the only choice is between war and whatever Mr. Obama negotiates. But the far more likely path to war is a bad deal that induces Israel to strike and drives the Saudis and Turks to get their own bomb. Mr. Obama’s opposition to the Senate sanctions bill shows how much it is needed.

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