Odds are Against Iranian Nuclear Deal; A Significant Election Result Last Night for Democrats
Author: Greg Valliere
August 24, 2022
DEMOCRATS HAVE A CHANCE to surprise to the upside in the Nov. 8 elections (see below), but we’re hearing that President Biden’s political advisers think an Iranian deal could backfire on the U.S. Events in recent days point to a deterioration of relations with Iran, not an improvement.
IN LESS THAN A MONTH, the Tehran government has been implicated in an assassination attempt on U.S. foreign policy hawk John Bolton; the author Salman Rushdie was nearly killed by a supporter of Iranian ayatollahs; and just last night, U.S. fighter jets attacked Iranian military bases in Syria. And Iran’s support for Russia in the Ukrainian war been blatant.
WITH THESE POLITICAL IMPEDIMENTS, a Joe Biden-supported deal would enrage the Republicans and prompt heated objections from Israel. This would become a major election issue, especially in Florida, which has crucial elections and over 650,000 Jewish residents.
TO COMPLICATE THE OUTLOOK, there are several unresolved issues — the extent of inspections of Iran nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency; disposal of Iran’s enriched uranium; the speed and extent of the lifting of sanctions on Iran; the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as terrorists, etc.
BOTTOM LINE: The talks could drag on for many weeks, and a deal is possible by year-end, especially if panic grows over energy shortages this winter. But an agreement to ratify any pact seems unlikely in Congress, and there are detractors in Iran as well. Even if there’s an announcement in the next few weeks of an agreement in principle, we still would be skeptical.
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IN A CLOSELY-WATCHED SPECIAL ELECTION YESTERDAY in a moderate upstate New York House district, Democrat Pat Ryan won. His key issue was abortion rights. We’ve always been reluctant to extrapolate one election or one economic statistic as a trend, but the New York result, combined with a Kansas abortion vote earlier this summer, is a warning signal to Republicans.
THE ENACTMENT OF HARSH STATE LAWS that ban abortion with virtually no exceptions has emerged as an election issue that may equal inflation. Polls show a deep anger among pro-choice supporters that may boost turnout in the general election.
IT’S STILL TOO EARLY TO MAKE A DEFINITIVE CALL, but the Democrats appear to have a plausible path to retaining control of the Senate. Republicans still have a good shot to flip the House, but that’s becoming a closer call.
THE NEXT POLITICAL ISSUE: Student loan reform, a potential lose-lose for Joe Biden. His proposal, probably coming later today, will be viewed by Progressives as inadequate, while Republicans will argue that the plan is inflationary and discriminates against those who paid off their loans.
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