In Geneva last month, U.S. and European negotiators achieved a major diplomatic breakthrough that offers a way out of the state of constant crisis between Iran and the West. American officials and representatives from five other world powers concluded an interim accord that will halt Iran’s nuclear development program for six months, creating breathing room for negotiations toward a more comprehensive, final agreement.
As the talks proceeded, hardliners in Iran were aghast, and Israeli leaders intent on squashing Iran’s rapprochement with the United States did their best to thwart further progress. These two strangest of bedfellows have joined hands in efforts to undermine the continuing negotiations. They have been ably assisted by some late entrants into the game—members of Congress who have taken to throwing last-minute obstacles in the way of this historic opportunity. It is fair to wonder if these members of Congress are more mindful of Israel’s best interests—or, more accurately, what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu erroneously presumes them to be—than the best interests of the nation they purportedly serve. The United States can ill afford another confrontation in the Middle East, and the potential benefits of an Iranian détente are manifold.
The howling from the sidelines cannot be allowed to throw off negotiators as they attempt to capitalize on the interim agreement. Normalizing relations with Iran is good for the United States; it is good for Iran; and in the long run, it will prove to be good for Israel.
Editors, America Magazine, the National Catholic Review