They are visibly happy in Tehran and they are visibly very unhappy in Jerusalem. If pictures and body language are indicators of actual diplomacy, then the images project a great Iranian victory and consequently a great Israeli defeat.
John F. Kennedy, licking his wounds from the Bay of Pigs debacle in Cuba, told a press conference that "Victory has a hundred fathers. Failure is an orphan." This piquant observation comes to mind as many of us celebrate the most historic foreign-policy achievement of the Obama presidency, and possibly the most important "victory" for global peace in the last three decades.
We do not yet know all the details of the Iran deal, but if it lives up to the framework agreement reached on April 2, it will be a very good deal. An historic deal. A major victory for U.S. security and the security of our allies.
In 1992 I flew into the Islamic Republic of Iran with my wife and two year old daughter on a trip funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and a Getty Museum Fellowship.
It would have been difficult, after the 2014 elections, to imagine that President Barack Obama could achieve much of anything in his last two years in office. After all, the opposition Republican Party had taken control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections in 2014. The Supreme Court, led by the right-leaning Chief Justice John Roberts, maintained a narrow conservative majority. And the president's approval rating had dropped below 50 percent. And yet here we are, only a few months after the new Congress took up residence on Capitol Hill, with a suddenly resurgent president. Just in the last few weeks, President Obama has been scoring a surprising number of domestic and foreign policy victories. His critics are cowed. The president reached a 50 percent public approval rating for the first time since May 2013.
In my conversations in the White House and with leading Senators during my visit to Washington last month I suggested that inspections be put above all other issues. I explained that there is no point insisting on all the other details of the agreement if the Iranians will anyway cheat.
President Obama is pursuing a deal out of principle. It is that ambition that has driven the President's formulation and consistent pursuit of each of the four elements of the Prague Agenda. Of course, as the President himself has repeatedly emphasized, the deal must be a good one.
When we analyze the negotiations and terms comprehensively, it becomes evident that the current terms being negotiated will not only keep Iran's nuclear infrastructure and threat primarily intact, but it will create a whole new regional security dilemma, geopolitical concerns, and nuclear arms race in the region.
If, and only if, the U.S. can pivot from a completed deal to a broader regional peace will it be possible to judge the outcome a success. Otherwise it's "off to the races", since a deal without a determined follow-up program may be just a bad as (and maybe worse than) no deal at all.
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.
This deal, which refuses to face the regime's vehement anti-Semitism and its perilous nature, undermines the very foundation we stand on as free and open democracies.
Russian state-run news service RIA Novosti has reported that a senior official from the group of six world powers has told Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, that the nuclear talks should immediately conclude if he is not interested in reaching a deal.
The most compelling reason that so many elected officials will oppose the Iran deal is the power of lobby groups and think tanks, backed by hawkish billionaires who are determined to quash a deal they see as bad for Israel.
Orwell's Thought Police are functioning today in Iran. I know this because my cousin, Shahriar Cyrus, a husband, father of a young son and accomplished painter, was arrested last week in Iran in a similar fashion. Eleven representatives of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence came for him. His crime -- like that of hundreds of others -- was his belief.
I met Michael Oren on several occasions. He is both an excellent diplomat and a respected historian. It is impossible for me to ignore the facts stated in Oren's memoir. The book has caused a paradigm shift in how I view the Obama administration and a nuclear deal with Iran.
A deal to roll back and constrain Iran's nuclear program may come this week. Here is what you need to know about this historic agreement and its global implications.