18 June, 2021

A Taste Of Late-Season Cherry

The interim agreement restores mutual respect between the West and Iran, accepts Iran’s regional primacy

A Taste Of Late-Season Cherry

Diplomacy is a political art form. It requires patience, stamina, intelligence, discipline and the ability to ward off internal and external spoilers opposed to the prospect of reconciliation. The process leading up to the Geneva agreement with Iran required the ability to stay on course and the audacity to break with previous patterns. The Obama administration, the representatives of the European Union, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany on the one side and the team surrounding the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, on the other, managed to remain goal-oriented. All parties remained focused on the prospect of reaching an agreement and were willing to pursue a quid pro quo strategy that did not leave the other side empty-handed.

The result is an agreement that could be sold on both sides as a success. Iran managed to halt the drive to sanctions and unlock some of the country’s assets abroad. More importan­tly, sanctions on the country’s petrochemical and auto industry were temporarily lifted, on top of relief that will alleviate some of the...

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