March 2, 2015 | Quote

Deal or No Deal? Iran Nuclear Talks Deadline Hovers Over AIPAC Conference

Landau said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, formerly the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, is “committed to Iran’s nuclear program” but merely differs from Khamenei “in tactic.” Rouhani, she said, believes Iran needs to be at the negotiating table in order to get maximal sanctions relief in exchange for minimal nuclear concessions.

Rouhani is “biding his time and is convinced now is not the right time” to challenge the U.S. on the nuclear issue, said Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank and a top expert on the inner workings of the Iranian regime. Khamenei, Alfoneh said, simply “needs cash” and understands that the only way Iran can avoid bankruptcy is to eliminate sanctions.

Obama, meanwhile, can actually benefit from the current American partisan dispute on Iran sanctions by sending “a message to Tehran that if you are not willing to make a deal with me, you are going to deal with those Republicans in Congress,” Alfoneh explained.

Yet Sherman said that even if the Obama administration makes a deal with Iran, the agreement only “binds the individual who executes the signature.” In January 2017, therefore, the new U.S. president will not be bound by the deal Obama signs.

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