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Chicago Tribune Editorial: No More Extensions in Nuclear Talks with Iran Past November

In a staff editorial today, The Chicago Tribune argues against granting Iran any extension in nuclear talks past the current deadline in November, which is less than two months away. The editorial states:

Time is nearly up. Painful economic sanctions brought Tehran to the bargaining table. The threat of even more painful sanctions will help the West reach a reasonable deal. That Senate bill should be on the president’s desk right now, awaiting his signature on Nov. 24, if not sooner.

If there’s no price for Tehran’s stalling, then get ready for a series of six-month extensions while the threat of a nuclear Iran grows into a dangerous reality.

While acknowledging that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is indeed a threat, the editorial points out “let’s not forget something: A nuclear Iran is a grave threat, too.” The editorial also criticized the controversial proposed deal that would allow Iran to disconnect but not dismantle its centrifuges because “Iran may be able to reconnect the machines in days.”

The editorial argues that the goal of the West should rather be to “[p]ush back Iran’s ‘breakout’ capability — how fast Tehran could build a nuclear weapon without drawing the attention of international nuclear inspectors,” which currently may be as short as two months.

The agreement to extend negotiations beyond the first deadline in July included a reduction of sanctions, further eroding the West’s leverage with Iran in the nuclear negotiations.

[Photo: openDemocracy / Flickr ]