The nuclear negotiations with Iran are in their eleventh hour. By Monday we'll know whether a resolution has been reached or a new crisis of the first order added to the conflagrations in the Middle East -- indeed, one that will exacerbate all the others. Even an understanding that lays out a few principles while extending the deadline would be a dangerous outcome. The technical issues are complicated. But they are not in themselves the main obstacles to be overcome. Let's get down to brass tacks. The starbursts of commentary on centrifuge numbers and Iran's retention of low-enriched uranium (LEU), albeit under international inspection, should not be allowed to conceal the underlying reality: If Washington and Tehran want a nuclear deal, it is there for the taking. While the responsibility is shared, the crucial decision rests with the White House. This is not the way that President Obama and his advisers see it, though.
As the deadline for the final nuclear deal between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic becomes closer, and as the world powers appear to be softening their demands on Iran's nuclear capabilities, Netanyahu's fear in the signing of a final nuclear deal and his objective is to postpone this process between Iran and six world powers.
The crisis in northern Iraq must prove a salutary lesson. That Iran can wield soft power in Iraq does not need stating, but that Iran is willing to work in military cooperation with America where they have mutual interests and benefits has been swept under the carpet by ideologues refusing to "give in" to the Iranians.
For congressional hawks claiming to take a tough line against Iran's nuclear program, cutting off funding for enhanced International Atomic Energy Agency inspections over that program seems like an odd approach. Yet a new bill introduced by the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would threaten to do just that.