The Vienna nuclear agreement between Iran and the West was a major milestone for the geostrategic future of the Middle East, but it was also a breath of fresh air for Iranian civil society. There is now the possibility of Iranian civil society playing a different and more constructive role in the future of Iranian politics.
The power struggle in Iran between the hardliners on one side and moderates, pragmatists and reformists on the other, will not only decide the future of the most important nation in the Middle East, it will also affect the entire region. The West should pay attention to the struggle and support the moderate coalition against the hardliners by reaching a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.
It should be mentioned that in response to my protest against massive vote rigging during the first election of the parliament after the Revolution, Khomeini told me in a private conversation that people have no vote whatsoever and that we only conduct such elections in order to close the mouths of Westerners.
Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Baghdad to ask the Iraqi government to stop helping Iran support Syria's Bashar al-Assad. Kerry received an embarrassing rebuff--so much for the Bush administration's celebrated victory over Saddam Hussein. This time ten years ago the grand Iraqi cakewalk had begun. American military forces were racing toward victory. The world was going to be transformed. But not in the way President George W. Bush and his top officials imagined. Invading Iraq turned out to be one of Washington's greatest strategic mistakes. Yet even now many of the Iraq War's architects are clamoring for more wars. America needs peace. War should be a true last resort, not just another policy option for frustrated social engineers and impatient internationalists. Wars are sometimes tragically necessary. But not in Iraq.