Finally, Barack Obama may prove deserving of his Nobel Peace Prize by joining with England, France, China, Russia and Germany in negotiating an eminently sensible rapprochement with Iran on its nuclear program.
Iran has done many despicable things over the years and has provided resources and weapons to many terrorists around the world. And for all that it should be condemned and any trust of Iran should be slow and verifiable. But Iran as a country also has trust issues with us.
Most Iranians are socio-politically conscious and opinionated about issues that rise in the news.
A recent AP report revealed that the United States and Iran had secret high-level, face-to-face talks for over the past year, which paved the way for the nuclear deal that was settled between Washington and Tehran this past weekend in Geneva.
US-Iranian leaders could draw inspiration from the humility of Prophet Muhammad in negotiations. Yes, all sides are not completely happy but I like to believe that "a good compromise is a compromise in which both sides are equally unhappy."
It's too early to declare that we have achieved "Peace in our time!" Even if every aspect of this agreement will be followed to the letter, it is unclear that Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the danger that these imply, have been effectively contained.
This deal raises the question as to whether it can truly be viewed as a deal as good as both sides project it to be. Who actually comes out of this deal as a winner? And is there a loser?
So where are we in the Iran narrative? I mean no disrespect to the victims of Iran's terrorist clients, or the existential fears of Israelis and world Jewry, or U.S. security interests in the Middle East by calling it a narrative. Real events do happen in the real world, but people can't help trying to fit them into larger stories. We love to connect the dots. Storytelling isn't some atavistic remnant of our pre-scientific past; it's how our brains are hardwired. When no one knows what comes next, the political advantage goes to the most powerful narrators. When no one knows how things will end up, the same events can be construed as signposts toward tragedy or triumph. The Geneva deal may turn out to advance America's Middle East interests; it may be a historic blunder; it may make no difference.
Behind the façade of the Iran nuclear issue, what the hawks really fear is that a general rapprochement between the U.S. superpower and Iran, made possible by a nuclear deal, could lead to realignment in the Mideast region to the perceived detriment of Israel and Saudi Arabia, each of whose archenemy is Iran.
The deal that was struck in Geneva between Iran and the P5+ 1 represents an important first step in curbing Iran's nuclear program. Regardless of the multiple flaws it contains, it offers a chance to end Iran's nuclear impasse peacefully.
More than ever, Israel is isolated from world opinion and the squishy entity known as "the international community." The Israeli government keeps condemning the Iran nuclear deal, by any rational standard a positive step away from the threat of catastrophic war.
It is hard to understand what all the celebrating in the West is about. Simply that there is an agreement where there had been none? The Iranians should be doing the celebrating -- and they are.
The profound symbolism of the moment more than outweighs the lighter substantive elements of the temporary agreement. The United States and its partners appeared tough and got very little. Iran appeared tough and gave up very little. Both sides saved face.
Israel has consistently said that, precisely to stop Iran's nuclear program without a military strike, two elements are essential -- tough sanctions and a credible threat of the use of force. As it watches the sanctions being somewhat relaxed post-Geneva, that remains Israel's position
Netanyahu has always liked to think of himself as a daring leader a la Churchill. He is about to find out that it takes more than cigars and grand rhetoric to actually become a great leader.