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The big picture on Iran

Like most other average people and many elected officials yammering about the Iran deal, I am far from expert in foreign negotiations, but here is what I know about Iran and the West.

The West wants Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program, stop being a state sponsor of terrorism and sell the West it's oil. Iran wants trade and solving its water shortage problem as it is in the midst of a 20-year drought that makes California look like the rain forest. There are two ways this water shortage gets addressed: More water and/or less demand for water. The first is pretty much outside anyone's influence. The second can be addressed with technology lessening the demand, particularly in industries needing water for cooling operations. The West possesses this technology.

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So in the largest of contexts, the West agrees to provide technology and open markets in return for Iran ending state-sponsored terrorism, its nuclear program and recognizing Israel. Don't know how to get there and it won't happen in one single agreement but that is the "there" and there is much on both sides to bargain.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville

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