Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Fellow Robert Manning writes for Yale Global Online on how tensions between the United States and Iran on other issues in the Middle East could affect the nuclear negotiations between the two countries:
To call it cognitive dissonance would be oversimplification – all at once Iran tries a Washington Post reporter for spying, also known as journalism, and continues to fuel chaos in Yemen and fights for Assad in Syria while suave Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pens an op-ed in the New York Times saying, “…our constructive engagement extends far beyond nuclear negotiations,” and proposing regional security cooperation.
But Iran’s conflicting views start with the nuclear accord itself. Even before talks on the final nuclear accord began, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, bluntly laid out conditions: All sanctions must be lifted the moment the deal is signed, and no inspections of military sites would be permitted. President Hassan Rouhani later softened that, noting that sanctions must be removed on the day the agreement is implemented. Both views flatly contradict theframework agreement released by the White House: Sanctions would be removed in stages as the agreement is implemented, and the International Atomic Energy Agency verification regime would allow for “challenge inspections” of suspect sites.