The International Atomic Energy Agency has struck a deal with Iran that could answer unresolved questions about that country’s nuclear capabilities. Western governments worry that the agreement is a sham, intended only to head off international sanctions against Iran for having a clandestine nuclear weapons program. They may be right: The deal will make it harder, if not impossible, to build a consensus at the United Nations for taking action.

Controversy has swirled around Iran’s nuclear program for several years. Concern intensified after it was discovered that Tehran had undisclosed nuclear facilities and was working to enrich uranium, both of which — as well as the very secrecy surrounding them — raised questions about the country’s commitment to a peaceful nuclear energy program.

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