HOD HASHARON, Israel -- The bottom line is that it is a good outcome for Israel, given the alternatives. Instead of a fight in Congress, Netanyahu should engage with the administration on the means of ensuring that the Iranians observe the agreement and on a further strategic upgrade of the bilateral relationship.
HONG KONG -- My Iranian friend who has family in the U.S. told me, "you can drive the length and breadth of the U.S., but you will not find a single place with anything like the culture you will find just here at Imam Square. Why do they think we will bow to them?" U.S. and European negotiators will do well to remember these words of a young businessman and not those of a religious fanatic. They should stroll through the bazaars of Isfahan and Shiraz if they have any second thoughts about inking the agreement with the Iranians.
Part of the reason why opponents to a nuclear deal with Iran are so bewildered by President Barack Obama's diplomacy is because their belief that Iran can be forced to capitulate. They adhere to a George W. Bush administration-era argument: If the U.S. only were to ramp up pressure, it can dictate the terms of the deal instead of having to agree to a compromise. Nothing could be further from the truth. This argument is as reckless as it is disproven. In fact, the reason the Obama administration abandoned this path was because it realized that insisting on Iranian capitulation was more likely to lead to war than to victory.