Variety abounds in Iran analysis, coverage

Larry Levin, Jewish Light Publisher/CEO

By Larry Levin, Publisher/CEO

It isn’t difficult to find a wide variety of opinions about the Iran agreement.  Some of them are sensible, some not so much, and they are spread (needless to say) across a very wide spectrum of ideas.

The following is just a small sample of the vast array of articles that have appeared recently in the aftermath of the announced deal.  Some are in more conventional publications, while others may have eluded your attention due to their particular niches. They all present thoughtful perspectives for consideration. 

If you want to read a conventional but excellent debate among three different and major voices – one largely invested in the deal (Peter Beinert),  one wholly opposed (David Frum), and one somewhere in the middle  (Jeffrey Goldberg: “Let me say at the outset that I agree with Peter. Also, I agree with David.”) – check out, “Is there a viable alternative to the Iran deal,” The Atlantic, July 17. (

Many in the nuclear nonproliferation world (as opposed to those focused more on geopolitical, Middle East or Israel issues) find much to like in the deal. Try “Experts Praise Iran Deal, Despite Congressional Concerns,” Defense News, July 18, which sets forth some of these views while acknowledging opponents’ concerns. (

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Dore Gold, the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  tells the Foreign Press Association, as reported in the Jerusalem Post, how the failure to focus on Iran’s missile program and its aggressive activities in the region taint the deal. “Senior Israeli official laments ‘Achilles heel’ of Iran nuclear deal,” Jerusalem Post, July 21. (

Another voice from Israel’s government, Silvan Shalom, the vice prime minister, gave another reason for opposition, namely, that continued sanctions could have derailed the Iran nuclear program. As reported in the Times of Israel on July 20,  “Shalom said continued sanctions would force Iran to surrender its nuclear program, citing apartheid South Africa and the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya as two examples where sanctions had worked. ‘Tougher sanctions will cause Iran to entirely abandon its nuclear ambitions and stop supporting terror,’ he said at the event organized by The Israel Project.” “As Iran sanctions wither, Israel’s Vice PM says world put cash over peace.” (

There are so many opinions on the Foreign Policy website that it’s hard to choose one for this roundup. But one in particular by David Rothkopf takes a look at how the Iran deal, and the fairly concurrent Greece bailout deal, might look later on from a historical perspective. “Why it’s too early to tell how history will judge the Iran and Greece deals,” July 14. (

Why did Russia decide to approve the deal? On the Brookings Institution website,, Pavel Baev suggests China’s influence is what brought Russia to heel in its acceptance. “From a narrow Russian perspective, the deal threatens to create yet another steady stream of oil and gas onto the world market at a time when depressed energy prices are already threatening the Russian economy. With that disadvantage in mind, the deciding factor was likely the Chinese one. The Chinese wanted the deal for their own reasons and Vladimir Putin, for all of his bluster, is in no position to resist them.”  “The China factor in Russia support for the Iran deal,” July 21. (

And for those who may want some brief relief from the hyperserious conversation about the hyperimportant Iran deal, The Atlantic’s Karl Sharro  on July 20 published the tongue-in-cheek “The Confused Person’s Guide to the Iran Deal” : “Word on the Arab Street is that Barack Obama signed a nuclear deal with Iran so that he can extract concessions over Syria in return for Iran being allowed to control Iraq and for which it has to rein in the Houthis in Yemen to pacify the Saudis and simultaneously restrain Kurdish ambitions thus easing Turkey’s anxiety about Kurdish independence as an incentive for it to cooperate regionally allowing both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to come on board with Obama’s plan for Israel/Palestine…”  And so on and so forth. ((