Kinsman: Are criticisms of the preliminary nuclear accord with Iran prescient or paranoid?

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November 26, 2013
Jeremy Kinsman
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

It depends who the critic is. Netanyahu’s entitled to express dire warning (though he has gone too far in lobbying the U.S. Congress against Obama). Baird’s expression of “deep skepticism” is truly pointless and for Canada, counter-productive. Skeptical analysis is OK if it is joined to tentative celebration of the genuinely historic temporary holding agreement reached by Canada’s principal allies with Iran, that could well be the first step in an essential normalization of U.S.-Iran relations. There was no such positive recognition. Given that Canada has zero skin in the game or independent information, only rhetoric (having dumbly shut our embassy in Tehran), Obama’s reaction will no doubt pass from disgust to indifference, amid confusion over what actually drives these blasts of unhelpful and unfriendly Canadian rhetoric. It’s one helluva way to sell the U.S. on a pipeline.