Thursday, February 22, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Give talks with Iran a chance

Diplomacy takes time. And when it comes to addressing Iran's nuclear program, Congress needs to give it. Congressional calls for tougher sanctions on Iran just days before talks are scheduled to resume in Geneva this week between the international community and Iran belie the modest progress made earlier this month in drafting a framework for an interim agreement. The Obama administration deserves more time to pursue a diplomatic route, a far preferable outcome than worsening relations or leaving this security risk as a regional matter for Israel and America's Arab allies.

After decades of sanctions that have crippled Iran's oil industry, particularly in recent years, President Barack Obama is right to explore a deal and test the new Iranian regime. Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, has set a moderate tone since taking office in August and he has practical reasons to consider a deal slowing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions. But talks between Iran and the six major powers — the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany — collapsed this month over what Iran said was a lack of regard for its "nuclear rights;" the United States blamed an Iranian lack of nerve. Still, the two sides agreed to meet again beginning Wednesday. Iran also agreed, in the run-up to this next round, to give U.N. inspectors additional access to Iranian nuclear sites.

On Thursday, those inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had slowed its nuclear expansion for the first time in years. That gives confidence that this is a promising window to try to restore relations and strike a comprehensive nuclear deal. And if the new talks fail, Congress can revisit sanctions then.

Israel and other critics of the administration's approach are right that sanctions drove Iran to the bargaining table. But that's exactly what sanctions are meant to do. And now that Iran's there, it's time to explore whether a comprehensive deal is possible. Otherwise sanctions become a never-ending exercise with no end result. Reaching an interim agreement that freezes the most advanced aspects of the Iranian nuclear program in return for a targeted easing of sanctions could create an environment for a comprehensive and peaceful end to Iran's nuclear ambitions. For the price of a few weeks, it's certainly worth a shot.

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Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Published: 02/21/18
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.íí A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he wonít raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trumpís claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nationís 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18