In comments made on Saturday President Obama made the most specific assessment of the chances of a P5+1 final deal with Iran yet, saying he doesn’t believe the chances are “more than 50-50.”
Obama said this at the Saban Forum, in front of a pro-Israel, and by extension anti-diplomacy, audience. This suggests the president may have been low-balling the figure to try to downplay the chances of a diplomatic deal with Iran.
Still, 50-50 is pretty good, and instead of playing up the opportunity Obama went on to insist that the US would be “no worse off” if the six month interim deal just expired without a final pact.
“No worse off” may be misleading in this regard, since he is likely comparing it to the preferred tack of Israeli officials, which is to scrap the six month deal and the diplomacy.
By contrast, the US would clearly be “worse off” letting the interim deal expire instead of making a final deal that would allow a full rapprochement with Iran and an end to decades of threatening to attack them.
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