George Santayana famously said that those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it. How true this is right now for the U.S., which after years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, now finds itself at a crossroads in its efforts to reach a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the crisis created by Iran's nuclear program.
The historic interim agreement between the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran over its nuclear dispute is not just about enrichment, centrifuges and breakout capabilities. Ultimately, it will help determine who and what will define Iran's foreign and domestic policies for decades to come. Will it be the security-oriented, confrontational and internally repressive orientation preferred by the Iranian hardliners? Or will the more cooperative, moderate and win-win approach favored by President Hassan Rouhani and the majority of the population take root and prevail?
With the deal that was signed in the early morning hours in Geneva on Sunday, the two sides managed to change course from the path to a disastrous war and put us on a road that ends with concrete assurance that Iran will never obtain nuclear weapons. Though it is just an interim agreement, after thirty years of non-relations, the deal is historic.