News that the White House and Iran have at long last reached an agreement over Tehran's nuclear program has found a mixed reception in the American press, with one side hailing the achievement as a step towards peace and the other warning of possible chaos to follow.
"We have a deal. It's a deal worse than even we imagined possible," grumbled the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol.
After nearly 20 months of negotiations, the United States agreed to ease economic restriction on Iran in return for guarantees that Tehran will continue its nuclear program for peaceful purposes only, with certain limits and restrictions in place. Many conservatives saw the final deal as one that's riddled with loopholes that make it fall far short of anything that will put real restrictions on Iran.
"[N]o dismantlement of Iran's nuclear program, no anytime/anywhere inspections, no curbs on Iran's ballistic missile program, no maintenance of the arms embargo, no halt to Iran's sponsorship of terror," Kristol wrote.
He was not alone in decrying the deal as a bad one.
RedState founder and conservative radio host Erick Erickson added Tuesday, "President Obama brings the world one step closer to war, but the media that has defended the precious for so long will keep doing so. They are invested in the legacy of the man they made."
Erickson has a running gag in which he says reporters are Gollum from Lord of the Rings, who always seeks to possess and care for the Ring — Obama is the Ring in that analogy.
Weekly Standard senior writer and Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes said of the deal on social media, "The #IranDeal finalizes US shift from preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon to managing the process by which Iran goes nuclear."
However, the position that the White House had struck a bad deal with Tehran was not widely shared, as a broad array of reporters and commentators applauded the Obama administration for its efforts to strike an agreement with Iran.
Former White House senior adviser and NBC News contributor David Axelrod dinged opponents of the deal for supposedly not having any ideas of their own, saying, "I have watched hours of commentary on the Iran deal and have yet to hear opponents lay out a plausible, realistic alternative."
Vox's Max Fisher gushed of Secretary of State John Kerry's role in the deal that he was "very close to having no legacy, and now he will have a legacy."
Mother Jones' Mark Follman encouraged his followers on Twitter to "ignore the demagoguery from Netanyahu, Lindsey Graham, et al, and instead learn how the Iran deal is supposed to work."
Elite Daily's John Haltiwanger added, "For all of those saying Obama is allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons: NO, he's doing the exact opposite. Read up."
"The #IranDeal is the exact opposite of the Iraq war. Diplomacy is always better than preeminent conflict based on dubious intelligence," he added.
Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent argued Tuesday morning that supporting the Iran deal makes for good politics. "While it's hard to predict how the specifics of the Iran deal will play politically, Democrats should not fear this broader contrast. They should lean into it," he said.
Politico's Michael Crowley added, "The Iran deal is a triumph for the Westphalian model of international order at a time when it's gone wobbly."
Republican lawmakers also weighed in on the deal Tuesday, with many of the 2016 presidential candidates condemning it as a dangerous capitulation to a state sponsor of terrorism.
Conservative politicians criticized the deal as well.
"President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America's worst diplomatic failures," said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a statement.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., echoed these sentiments, accusing the White House of "negotiating from a position of weakness."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the GOP frontrunner, said that the deal is nothing more than appeasement.
"The nuclear agreement announced by the Obama administration today is a dangerous, deeply flawed and short-sighted deal," he said. "Based on initial reports and analysis, it appears this agreement does not 'cut off all of Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon' — in fact, over time it paves Iran's path to a bomb."
Those comments were mirrored by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who slammed the Iran deal as "a bad mistake of historic proportion." That led the Washington Post's Ishaan Tharoor to characterize Netanyahu's warning as "[breath-taking] fact-free doom-mongering."
Obama, for his part, vowed Tuesday morning to veto any attempt by Congress to scuttle the deal.
In response to the president's public statement Tuesday morning on the deal, the Washington Free Beacon's Bill Gertz responded on social media, "Shades of Neville Chamberlain's infamous Munich deal with Hitler and 1938 declaration of 'Peace for our time.'"