Rather than worrying about the ISIS challenge softening the US's position on the nuclear portfolio, the real worry should be that Senators Kirk and Menendez will blow up diplomacy with Iran, and in doing so, eliminate the chance of preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, restart the march towards war with Iran, and on top of that, enable ISIS to benefit from the reignited US-Iran rivalry.
On my second night in Iran, I was invited to a party in a middle-class area of Tehran. Since we were a mixed gendered group with a foreigner in their midst, we had to be reasonably inconspicuous. As soon as we stepped over the threshold of the house, however, we were no longer in the Islamic Republic.
The nuclear negotiations with Iran are in their eleventh hour. By Monday we'll know whether a resolution has been reached or a new crisis of the first order added to the conflagrations in the Middle East -- indeed, one that will exacerbate all the others. Even an understanding that lays out a few principles while extending the deadline would be a dangerous outcome. The technical issues are complicated. But they are not in themselves the main obstacles to be overcome. Let's get down to brass tacks. The starbursts of commentary on centrifuge numbers and Iran's retention of low-enriched uranium (LEU), albeit under international inspection, should not be allowed to conceal the underlying reality: If Washington and Tehran want a nuclear deal, it is there for the taking. While the responsibility is shared, the crucial decision rests with the White House. This is not the way that President Obama and his advisers see it, though.