Exceprts from two editorials, nine years apart, in the New York Times, presented with no additional commentary.

Iran’s Nuclear Threat – The New York Times – October 22, 2004

What is critical is for the winner of the presidential race, and for the three European nations, to make it urgently and abundantly clear to Iran’s president, Mohammad Khatami, and his mullahs that the West will brook no further delays, and that it is serious and united about imposing stern sanctions if Iran won’t abandon its nuclear fuel enrichment efforts. Iran has already broken one deal with the Europeans, and it has drawn sharp criticism from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

If the ruling mullahs continue to sense indecision and disunity in the West, they will surely continue with their program. The result would be a disaster. Joschka Fischer, Germany’s foreign minister and a strong proponent of diplomacy, warned earlier this week that a nuclear Iran could set off a Middle Eastern arms race. And North Korea would see no reason to abandon its weapons.

Getting to Yes with Iran – New York Times – November 24, 2013

In exchange, America and its allies have offered “limited, temporary and reversible” sanctions relief — enough so President Rouhani can show his people benefits for Iran’s concessions but far from all that Iran has lost. The interim deal would provide $6 billion to $7 billion in sanctions relief, including freeing up about $4.2 billion in oil revenue that is frozen in foreign banks.

Even so, Iran would still be deprived of $30 billion in oil revenue over the next six months. American officials say that if Iran cheats on the interim terms or fails to reach a final agreement, the eased sanctions will be reversed and new and tougher ones imposed.

The perils ahead are many, including adamant objections from Israel and Saudi Arabia, which oppose re-establishment of relations between America and Iran. The major powers have promised Iran that new sanctions will not be imposed during the interim deal. But key Senate Democrats said they plan to push for new penalties, though those would probably not be effective for six months to give diplomacy a chance. That is not a lot of time, but the new agreement offers more hope than ever before that the United States and Iran can find common ground.

(Featured image source: I would never be so insulting as to accuse the NY Times of tokenism)


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