It is interesting to speculate how the partisan lines would divide had this same agreement been concluded during the George W. Bush years. Based on the history of the Cold War years, there would have been considerable support from the Democratic side and not the solid partisan resistance from Republicans now committed to blinkered opposition to anything achieved by the Obama Administration. This agreement to limit Iranian nuclear ambitions does not and could not solve all the complex problems represented by Iran in the Middle East any more than nuclear arms agreements with the Soviets solved all the problems they represented in the world. No plausible and persuasive argument has yet been offered as to why we and our allies would be better off without this agreement. Until it is offered, this agreement profoundly requires Congressional approval.
Let's say that the U.S. Congress rejects the deals. If so, we could see a hardliner comeback in Iran, a victory for the sponsors of terrorism, an increased likelihood of Israel bombing Iran, with a retaliation that drags America into a conflict that makes Iraq look like a skirmish.
Those who oppose deals like this often proclaim a binary world of simple good and evil, which we don't have -- and believing so is a dangerous illusion.
The Republican Congress and prospective presidential candidates owe the American people candor and courage in staking out their principled opposition to the deal.
As we start to analyze the details of the deal and think about its implications, there are a few things we should keep in mind going forward, so that we are looking at this agreement in the right context.
The nuclear deal with Iran is to be welcomed -- mainly because Obama allowed himself to be trapped in a position where the only alternative was confrontation with the prospect for war. The strategic implications, if not accompanied by wider policy adjustments here and in the region, are marginal at best.
Here at the Anti-Defamation League, we get it all the time. Most recently when we criticized Jarryd Hayne, a former Australian rugby star and now a running back on the San Francisco 49ers, for revisiting the ancient charge blaming Jews for the death of Christ.
The Vienna agreement now offers Iran a unique opportunity to move towards the international community following decades of isolation and confrontation. It gives cause for hope that, beyond Vienna, Tehran's policy will no longer see only opponents but rather potential partners and win-win arrangements in the Middle East.
NEW YORK -- No one should confuse this outcome with a solution to the problem of Iran's nuclear ambitions or its contributions to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East. On the contrary, depending on how it is implemented and enforced, the agreement could make matters worse.
The Vienna agreement is a turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also a big step for the geostrategic future of the region. From now on Iran will be a full partner in the big game in the Middle East and the world.
Let's not kid ourselves. The deal with Iran that President Barack Obama so proudly announced on Tuesday does not prevent the Islamic Republic from becoming a nuclear power. Far from it. The unasked, and unanswered, question in all the predictable hubbub and blather is how much that matters.
Voting against the Iran deal is not just wrong, it is stupid politically. And that, more than anything else, is the reason the agreement will pass. Enjoy the sideshow but that is all it is. The Iran agreement is a done deal.
The Mullahs in Iran have reason to celebrate. After 36 years, Iran has reclaimed its role as the definitive power in the Middle East, a truism it has known all along since regional geopolitics changed as a result of the 1991 Iraq War.
As difficult as it was for President Rouhani to secure a deal, it will be even more difficult for him to sustain popular support for it when all the excitement dies down. More significantly, Iran's economy is in dire need of foreign investment, particularly in its oil and gas sectors.
The deal and negotiations focused on constraining Iran's nuclear capability. But what is at stake is Iran's regional role and importantly, this includes the economic consequences of détente.
The just-announced nuclear agreement is, in many ways, but a sideshow to the larger issue of regional politics in the Middle East. Despite being heralded as a new start, this agreement, with some exceptions, simply returns Iran to the status it enjoyed in 2005, prior to the dissolution of an earlier agreement intended to bring Iran's nuclear program under international monitoring, completing what amounts to a decade-long diplomatic journey to nowhere. Reality has sunk in, and with it the need to engage with Iran so that the U.S. can responsibly extricate itself from more than a decade of conflict in that region. By resolving the issue of Iran's nuclear program, both real and imagined, the Obama administration is able to cut a political Gordion Knot it inherited from the Bush administration, freeing this administration to engage in meaningful diplomacy with, and about, Iran.