Atlantic Council Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for the Washington Post on how President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal shares similarities with Reagan’s negotiations with the Soviet Union:
John Hannah’s Aug. 25 op-ed, “Not quite Reaganesque,” criticized Brent Scowcroft for using nuclear negotiations with the Soviet Union as a reason to support the nuclear agreement with Iran, exaggerated President Reagan’s role in changing the behavior of the Soviet Union and used a straw man against President Obama’s argument for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
That the United States and the Soviet Union, while in conflict globally on many issues, could agree to arms control treaties is germane. The United States and Iran clash on many issues. Yet agreement on preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons was negotiable and, if sustained, will succeed. According to Reagan’s then-secretary of state, Gen. Alexander Haig, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s 1982 decision to recapture the Falklands persuaded Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to take seriously the threat posed by the Iron Lady’s resolve and the Western nuclear deterrent, and ultimately to resolve the threat posed by Soviet missiles aimed at Europe.