"Barack Obama wanted to avoid being the U.S. president who presides over Iran getting the bomb. Iran wanted sanctions relief and validation of its nuclear program. Both sides made concessions, and a crisis appears to have been averted, at least in the short term. But what we know now suggests that the mullahs got the better end of the deal" writes Aaron David Miller.
"Saudi Arabia is maintaining its air offensive in Yemen, and Houthi rebels continue to stage assaults. But another crisis is raging in Yemen that could pose an existential threat to one of the world’s most troubled nations," writes Michael Kugelman.
Now that the dust has begun to settle on the nuclear deal with Iran, we asked two expert observers, Haleh Esfandiari and Robert Litwak, to provide preliminary analysis. Both have been following the story since the beginning and bring unique perspectives on the deal’s strengths and weaknesses, and also on reactions in both Iran and the US. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
"For the moment, historic though it may be, the Iran enterprise is a transaction — in short a business deal devoid of much sentimentality in which both sides need stuff from the other and are still not sure they can get it, and it’s an imperfect and incomplete transaction at that," writes Aaron David Miller.
"Negotiating with Iran in an effort to slow its nuclear program and avoid war is the least bad alternative. But there are no good deals that will end Iran’s nuclear weapons aspirations, only ones with varying degrees of risk," writes Aaron David Miller and Jason Brodsky.
"Like Barack Obama, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, took a big gamble last week, but his was riskier," writes Robin Wright.
"President Rouhani clearly will have popular support. But in Iran and abroad, eyes will be trained on the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei," write Haleh Esfandiari and Robert Litwak.
"The deal still has to go through formal drafting, but the terms announced by Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the majority of issues with more specificity than expected," writes Robin Wright.
"But even if an agreement is reached, four decades of hostility between Iran and the United States will not be erased overnight," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
"A deal on the nuclear issue may well slow Iran’s program. That would be a good thing. But a situation where the U.S. is not moving to check Iran’s influence or, worse, making excuses for Iranian behavior is likely to create huge problems for Washington and its friends in the region," writes Aaron David Miller.