Informal Obama adviser Fareed Zakaria: Iran deal ‘a train wreck’

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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Foreign policy analyst and CNN host Fareed Zakaria called America’s interim deal with Iran a “train wreck” after interviewing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Zakaria, an author President Obama reportedly reads and consults with, made the comment during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday to promote his blockbuster interview.

“This strikes me as a train wreck,” Zakaria said. “This strikes me as potentially a huge obstacle because the Iranian conception of what the deal is going to look like and the American conception now look like they are miles apart. The Iranian conception seems to be they produce as much nuclear energy as they want, but it is a civilian program and you can have as much monitoring and inspections as you want. The American position is that they have to very substantially scale back the enrichment of uranium and the production of centrifuges.”

“Now for the first time you have the president of Iran unequivocally saying there will be no destruction of centrifuges,” he continued. “He also made clear in the interview with me that the two heavy water reactors would continue in operation. So this seems like, you know, this is still born. I’m not even quite sure what they’re going to talk about if these are the opening positions. And it’s very hard to walk back from as absolutist a position as the president of Iran layed out.”

Iran’s interim deal with the United States and other so-called world powers went into effect this month. The deal, which loosens some sanctions on Iran, gives the parties involved six months to come to a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

Numerous articles have described Zakaria as a sort-of informal adviser to President Obama on foreign policy issues. Zakaria himself has discussed how the White House occasionally reaches out to him to arrange “face-to-face meetings” with the president.

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Jamie Weinstein