The most tragic consequence of Congress killing the deal would be that it would eliminate the prospect for greater U.S.-Iran cooperation in the region on areas of mutual concern. It would lock in continued enmity between the United States and Iran, serving only to exacerbate tension and conflict across the Middle East. To go down this path when such a mutually advantageous alternative exists would truly be a blunder of historic proportions.
As a potential catalyst for further diplomatic means of conflict resolution, the comprehensive agreement provides a unique opportunity to seriously engage Iran and possibly alleviate these tensions. Given the significant ramifications that these openings may herald for the future of Iran-Arab world ties, it is more important than ever to engage and analyze viewpoints from scholars and analysts based in the region on the future of Iran's role in the Middle East and Arab security.
We are told by the deal's supporters that the only alternative to this deal is war. We respectfully disagree. We do not support war against Iran, nor have we ever advocated for the use of force, though we have always believed in a credible military option as a way of convincing Iran of our seriousness of purpose.
Earlier in the month, President Obama announced that we had a deal. The P5+1 world powers had come to an agreement with Iran. With no loss of life, our diplomats were able to prevent Iran from building a bomb. The gravity of this win should make all sides rejoice. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be politically expedient.
JERUSALEM -- Even at this early stage, it is apparent that the agreement has empowered Iran regionally. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite regime lavished praise on the agreement, rightly recognizing that enhanced international legitimacy and financial resources will enable Shia Iran to provide greater backing. Assad's other major regional ally, Lebanon's Hezbollah (which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization), also supports the deal. Vladimir Putin's Russia is also happy to have received U.S. assistance, however indirectly, in strengthening Assad's hold on power.
With the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran, some are panicking in despair, while others have visions of a dramatically realigned Middle East. Both views are overreactions, since the deal itself is quite limited in scope, and the impact of 35 years of history and politics cannot easily be erased.