Bobby Ghosh, the managing editor of Quartz, told CNN on Tuesday that "unquestionably the big winner" of the nuclear deal announced earlier that day is Iran.
"Iran is unquestionably the big winner," Ghosh said. "Look at where the fireworks are going off. There are no fireworks going off in Washington, London, and Berlin, but in Tehran, Moscow, and Beijing, there is boisterous celebration."
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Iran struck a deal with P5+1 negotiators after two weeks of intense—at times heated—negotiations.
The deal will allow Iran to continue spinning thousands of centrifuges to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to build a nuclear weapon. It will also loosen sanctions on Iran’s financial transactions and arms trade with rogue regimes and terrorist organizations, sanctions relief which amounts to a financial and strategic windfall for the Islamic republic.
Ghosh said that the deal amounts to a "gamble" by the Obama administration, which hopes that exposure to Western values and diplomacy will change Iran’s mind about Israel, the U.S., and the utility of pursuing nuclear weapons.
"The Obama administration is making a bet that they [Iran’s leaders] say, okay, we've had 10 or 15 good years and we don't need nukes. Thats a big proposition," Ghosh said.
Once the agreement sunsets, Ghosh said that Iran—newly enriched by sanctions relief, economic development aid, and Western business ties—will be able to pursue nuclear weapons if it chooses to.
"If they want to increase enrichment towards making nuclear weapons, this agreement allows them and we don't get a do-over," Ghosh said.
The nuclear deal will also aid Iran’s embattled ally in Damascus.
"The second big winner is [Syrian dictator] Bashar Assad," Ghosh said. "He depends hugely on Iranian money, Iranian weapons, and Iranian military personnel, all three of which he can now get more of now because his patrons have more money to play with."
Bloomberg reports that Iran spent "between $14 billion and $15 billion in military and economic aid" in 2012 and 2013 to prop up the Syrian war machine, in addition to providing military personnel from the Quds Force and Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy terrorist army.
When sanctions relief takes effect and the arms embargo is lifted, Iran will pocket tens of billions of dollars to spend on its extracurricular activities.
"This completely changes the world," Ghosh said of the deal. "Does it change it for the better? It changes it for the better for the Iranians and Bashar al-Assad."