Even before the negotiations started, President Obama's detractors were saying that his efforts to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program would fail. Now that we have an actual plan to review, we can weigh the merits of that plan. I have read the plan and it is my opinion that the plan is a good plan that will work.
Just three weeks before the historic agreement between Iran and the group of six world powers, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued comprehensive red lines for a possible nuclear deal. The nuclear deal reached on July 14 in Vienna clearly violates the lines almost in their entirety.
Most Americans struggle to recognize or understand their country's permanent security state, in which elected politicians seem to run the show, but the CIA and the Pentagon often take the lead -- a state that inherently gravitates toward military, rather than diplomatic, solutions to foreign-policy challenges. Viewed through the lens of history, the main job of U.S. presidents is to be mature and wise enough to stand up to the permanent war machine.
No doubt, Obama and his White House advisers think they are handling difficult domestic political dynamics with admirable adroitness. But, in diplomatic terms, their approach assumes that other key players -- including Iran -- will wait indefinitely for Washington to get serious about closing a deal.