November 25, 2013 | Quote

After Iran Nuclear Deal, Tough Challenges Ahead

The euphoria over the signing of a historic nuclear agreement with Iran gave way to sober reality Sunday as the parties clashed over a key element of the deal and congressional skeptics threatened to thwart it.

The Obama administration moved quickly to sell the agreement to nervous U.S. allies, particularly Israel, and to persuade lawmakers not to push ahead with new economic sanctions that could prompt Iran to abandon the six-month freeze on its nuclear program set under the accord. In interviews, Secretary of State John F. Kerry defended the deal, saying that the United States and its allies believe that the agreement ensures Iran will either abide by the terms or face the reinstatement of measures that have crippled the country’s economy.

“We have no illusions. We don’t do this on the basis of somebody’s statements to you. We do it on the basis of actions that can be verified,” he told CNN.

“Iran has broken the back of the Western sanctions regime,” said Mark Dubowitz, a sanctions expert and executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank. “It is an illusion to believe that sanctions will not be eroded significantly by this deal.”

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