The World After the Iran Deal: Better or Worse?

One year later, it appears the historic nuclear agreement is a success. But that doesn’t mean the world is a safer place.

On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."
On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."
On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."

On this week’s episode of The E.R., FP’s David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, and Dan De Luce, along with New York Times Washington correspondent David Sanger, assess the historic Iran nuclear deal nearly a year after an agreement was made. The panel debates whether or not the deal has been, and will continue to be, successful, both from a nuclear proliferation standpoint and an economic and domestic standpoint within Iran.

It could be said that the Iran deal is doing far better than anyone could have predicted. Has it really been a year since Israel — and other countries — have raised the idea of issuing a military strike against Iran? And isn’t that a feat in and of itself, in terms of stability in that region?

But despite the agreement’s early show of promise, the panel wonders if the positive streak will continue. What will happen, for example, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finishes his term and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif finishes his? Is the stability of this deal dependent on their dynamic?

On this week’s episode of The E.R., FP’s David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, and Dan De Luce, along with New York Times Washington correspondent David Sanger, assess the historic Iran nuclear deal nearly a year after an agreement was made. The panel debates whether or not the deal has been, and will continue to be, successful, both from a nuclear proliferation standpoint and an economic and domestic standpoint within Iran.

It could be said that the Iran deal is doing far better than anyone could have predicted. Has it really been a year since Israel — and other countries — have raised the idea of issuing a military strike against Iran? And isn’t that a feat in and of itself, in terms of stability in that region?

But despite the agreement’s early show of promise, the panel wonders if the positive streak will continue. What will happen, for example, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finishes his term and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif finishes his? Is the stability of this deal dependent on their dynamic?

Talking about the Iran deal leads the panel to wander into larger, more speculative questions about national security under President Barack Obama’s watch: Is the world safer after eight years of the Obama administration? Is it possible the United States is now in a more dangerous position when it comes to nuclear weapons and proliferation, i.e., Putin’s return to the international arena, Pakistan’s buildup of its nuclear weapons programs, etc.? And in a nightmare scenario, what would happen if the Islamic State or other terrorist networks were to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction? Will the recent lack of focus on this critical issue come back and haunt the United States and the rest of the world?

David Sanger is the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and author of Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power. Follow him on Twitter: @SangerNYT.

Dan De Luce is FP’s chief national security correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @dandeluce.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she focuses on military history, and a former foreign-policy advisor to Sen. John McCain. Follow her on Twitter: @KoriSchake.

David Rothkopf is the CEO and editor of the FP Group. Follow him on Twitter: @djrothkopf.

Subscribe to FP’s The E.R. and Global Thinkers podcasts on iTunes.

More from Foreign Policy

A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed  according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.
A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.

Why Do People Hate Realism So Much?

The school of thought doesn’t explain everything—but its proponents foresaw the potential for conflict over Ukraine long before it erupted.

Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.
Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.

China’s Crisis of Confidence

What if, instead of being a competitor, China can no longer afford to compete at all?

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.

Why This Global Economic Crisis Is Different

This is the first time since World War II that there may be no cooperative way out.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.

China Is Hardening Itself for Economic War

Beijing is trying to close economic vulnerabilities out of fear of U.S. containment.