The Elusive Good Deal with Iran

 We have a framework of understanding with Iran in the negotiations on their nuclear program. This is a long way away from a deal, let alone a good deal. But we have arrived at an important place. Now the debate begins. That debate needs to be both vigorous and rigorous.

 I hope Congress is a vocal part of the debate and crafting of the final deal. The devil is in the details, they say, and certainly that is true here. Each side has a distinctly different interpretation of expectations, obligations and responsibilities of the framework, even within the P5+1. We need to understand what we want from this deal and how to achieve it before we can imagine how we move forward.

 Let us hope the debate is vigorous. The Congress will seek to clarify and demand accountability in ways that it deems appropriate and necessary. The President likewise, will work towards sharing what he envisions as the Deal and why. Like any collaborative work, the process is arduous and the end product likely will be different from the initial draft. But rarely have the stakes been higher. Let us remain vocal, sharing concerns and fears, hopes and aspirations.

 For those with a relationship to Israel there is another layer to the debate; for there is an existential threat that exists. Iran remains the sworn enemy of Israel and is committed to Israel’s destruction. When Israel’s agenda differs from the negotiated deal, how we reconcile them and work to secure Israel preemptively is critically important. We do not have the luxury of supporting Israel in the aftermath of an attack. In a nuclear attack, there would not be much left to support. So we must carefully consider what we are negotiating towards.

 What is the Iran we hope to see and how might the Deal move us towards that vision? History is replete with bad deals that have created situations far worse than the problems these deals were meant to resolve. Can we craft a deal with full forethought? An Iran that remains committed to destruction and not coexistence, intolerance instead of tolerance, an Iran that seeks to impose its values, or an Iran that becomes like a wild animal boxed into a corner will surely result in a less stable region and world.

 May the final deal result in a world that is safer and more secure. Let’s get to work.

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