It is no surprise that the final Iran nuclear deal was met with opposition in Israel and Saudi Arabia. For all the talk about whether or not this is a good deal, negotiating with Iran was the original sin from their perspective.
Escalating competition among major powers is amplifying the role of nuclear weapons in defense policies, including more easily used — and thus especially dangerous — tactical nuclear forces. Before it becomes too late, the U.S. should design and lead a new campaign to control nuclear risk.
Iranian sponsorship of terrorist organizations cannot be divorced from the negotiations because the sanctions that will be lifted provide new sources of funding to reinforce the Iran threat network. A global strategy to address the Iran threat network is essential to stability in the region.
Diplomats have reached a nuclear agreement with Iran. Now, the United States faces important policy decisions that will help shape the days ahead and the relationship that emerges between Iran and the other parties involved.
Even a strong nonproliferation agreement that prevents all pathways toward the Iranian bomb won't magically transform the Middle East. But on balance, the region would be better off with a good nuclear deal than without one.
The United States can't wait for a final nuclear deal with Iran to begin thinking through how to manage its aftermath. The challenges ahead are already clear. Washington should prepare for them by setting aside old formulas that have failed to advance stability.
Non-American corporations must decide whether the benefits of pursuing business opportunities in Iran outweigh the risks, and they will likely stay away as long as Congress keeps debating the imposition of new sanctions. Their reluctance to invest could prevent Iran from seeing the economic benefits of a nuclear deal, which could lead the Iranian government to pull out of it — bringing the U.S. and its allies back to square one.
Sufficient information is available to be optimistic about the characteristics of the framework accord anticipated by the end of this month. Many Americans might be surprised to learn what has already been accomplished under the interim agreement that laid the groundwork for the comprehensive deal now being negotiated.
Two symbols of U.S.-Russian cooperation are nearing the end of their life expectancies, the International Space Station and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. But both stand as remarkable milestones of achievement and reminders of what can be accomplished when nations put aside political differences for the betterment of humanity.