A soccer pitch in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, home to Iran's Arab minority, has emerged as a flashpoint of anti-government protest at a time of rising Arab-Iranian tensions over the status of Shiite Muslim minorities in the Arab world and the crisis in Yemen.
The most serious challenge to the nuclear deal may be that it does not at all address the human rights record of the Tehran theocracy or statements challenging the legitimacy of Israel. However, from the perspective of the Obama Administration and most U.S. allies, the nuclear deal is seen as a first step in empowering a more progressive trend with Iran.
For years, the United States and other nations have reached out to this population through broadcasting and online venues, but this process should be immediately expanded. Exchange programs -- academic and cultural -- are effective in breaking down stereotypes.
This week, the framework of a deal on curbing Iran's nuclear capabilities was announced. Existing stockpiles of enriched uranium will be reduced by 97 percent, centrifuges by two-thirds, along with what President Obama called a "robust and intrusive" inspection regime -- if adhered to, the deal would make a bomb impossible for at least 10 years. "It will make our country, our allies and our world safer," said Obama. In short, a tentative victory for all. Except, of course, those cheerleaders of the disastrous Iraq War pining to launch a sequel. Speaker Boehner vowed to ask "tough questions" -- something Congress failed to do 12 years ago in the run up to Shock and Awe. And Sen. Mark Kirk has already trotted out the Iraq playbook, predicting this is "going to end with a mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran." But at least this time around we have a much clearer picture of what listening to cynical references to mushroom clouds can lead to.
The current agreement will not prevent Iran from developing an atomic device in the future, nor will it constrain its ability to develop ballistic missile technology. The agreement will significantly slow down Iran's ability to develop an atomic device and, in all likelihood, delay that eventuality for another 10 to 15 years.
Forgive me for wondering whether the daily dealings between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are taking a page from the Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed playbook -- without the Marquees of Queensberry Rules.
The deal is a good deal for people who want a peaceful world. It is not a good deal for those who profit from fear and war.
A few months back, he announced a major shift in U.S. policy towards Cuba, ending a half-century of frostiness, and this week the outlines of a deal to avoid a war with Iran were unveiled, thawing a relationship that froze over back in 1979.
While pursuing a spirited debate about if and how to engage with Iran is important, even more significant to the long term health and vitality of the United States is to remember that first and foremost we must continue to support those habits of culture that have made the United States strong in the first place.
At a time where there seems to be new violence and conflict somewhere in the world each day, a final nuclear deal would be a bright spot. Polls bear this out, and show that the vast majority of Americans want a diplomatic agreement, not war.
This deal will verifiably prevent Iran from building a bomb for at least 15 years. No American troops will be killed, and it won't cost us a dime. What's not to like?
The last year and a half of negotiations between Iran and six international powers has created a remarkable and historic shift. Not only have relations between the United States and Iran begun to thaw after 30 years of enmity, but it is increasingly looking like the international community will be able to solve the Iran nuclear crisis together.
Tehran continues to export its revolutionary zeal by supporting terrorism and radical organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, providing direct financial and military assistance to radical Shiite militias, and maintaining through subversive activities its strong hold on Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Jim Slattery, a self-described farm boy from Atchison County, Kansas, deep in the American Heartland, served six terms in the US Congress. He exudes a calm demeanor and common-sense straight talk on the Iran issue oddly out of place with more strident rhetoric.
The interventionist 19th century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston famously said that "Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests."
The remaining question for Netanyahu and the rest of what will be yet again the most right-wing government in Israeli history is what they really mean by calling the prospect of Iranian Bomb an "existential threat" to Israel.