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McConnell and the Iran Hawks’ Loathing of Diplomacy

Mitch McConnell admits that he doesn’t want any nuclear deal with Iran that could be successfully negotiated:

Reaching the best deal acceptable to Iran, rather than actually furthering our goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program [bold mine-DL], is a flawed premise.

This sums up Iran hawks’ objections to the negotiations very well. McConnell and his colleagues aren’t interested in finding the best deal that Iran will accept, because the goal he’s seeking is one that has always been out of reach. The “ending” of Iran’s nuclear program has never been a possible result of these or any other negotiations. There is no deal that the P5+1 could make with Iran that would get it to agree to giving up on its program entirely, so there is no point in trying to “further” that goal. McConnell’s claim that this is “our goal” is disingenuous, but it confirms that there could never be any deal that would satisfy him and other Iran hawks.

The most likely deal that can be reached will restrict and monitor Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade at least, and in the absence of a deal the program will be under no constraints. Iran hawks continue to agitate against the one thing that might limit the nuclear program that they have been obsessed with for over a decade, and they are so intent on pursuing an impossible goal that they would rather throw away the last two years’ substantial progress rather than accept necessary compromise.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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