A few responses and backgrounders:
Foreign Policy credits EU High Commissioner Lady Ashton with securing the deal , while Al-Monitor tells the story of backchannel US-Iran contacts led by senior State Department official William Burns.
The New York Times addresses what its own headline refers to as “A Gamble in Iran Talks: Easing of Sanctions,” writing:
In its delicate negotiations with Iran over freezing its nuclear program, the Obama administration is gambling that the gradual relaxation of punishing sanctions will whet Tehran’s appetite for greater economic relief, inducing the country’s leaders to negotiate a further deal to roll back its nuclear progress.
Yet, President Obama’s biggest critics — in Congress, the Arab world and Israel — argue that he has the strategy entirely backward. By changing the psychology around the world, they argue, the roughly $100 billion in remaining sanctions will gradually be whittled away.
Aaron David Miller opines in Politico that:
If this interim deal leads to a final accord that mothballs Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and keeps it that way, it will be worth the heartburn it’s causing Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Congress, too. But we’re still a very long way from Tipperary on this one.
He then gives five reasons why.
And for those who don’t read French, a report in Le Figaro– including illustrations – updates that the IR-10 nuclear installation in Shiraz is advancing the development of a plutonium separation facility for Arak. Maybe this is why Paris insisted on a freeze in Arak’s activities…
Sorry, did we spoil the party? Our apologies to Lady Ashton.