As the final round of nuclear negotiations begins here in Vienna, opponents of a deal have become schizophrenic in their efforts to torpedo it. Unable to base their objections on science or the technical facts currently being drafted, they have instead resorted to a loose mélange of poorly constructed straw men. Here are five such myths.
After thirty-six years of mutual satanization, it is easy to advance pessimistic arguments and to be doubtful about a future in which Iran and the United States will no longer be enemies. However, the nuclear negotiations and the prospect of a final nuclear accord demonstrate the fiction of the idea of permanent enemies destined to be in conflict with each other.
The last year and a half of negotiations between Iran and six international powers has created a remarkable and historic shift. Not only have relations between the United States and Iran begun to thaw after 30 years of enmity, but it is increasingly looking like the international community will be able to solve the Iran nuclear crisis together.
The challenge for the Obama administration is not only to secure an agreement with Iran but to avoid the fate of the Agreed Framework. That 1994 accord failed to prepare for a breakthrough in bilateral relations or prevent North Korea from acquiring a nuclear weapon. It has cast a long shadow over the current negotiations as well as other non-proliferation efforts.