Let’s Make Good Use of this Crisis [ssba]

Let’s Make Good Use of this Crisis

By Paul Scham and Ilan Peleg*

The phrase “No good crisis should be wasted” is by now a cliché, but it is very much applicable to the current situation, following the Iran nuclear agreement signed in Vienna on July 14. The agreement constitutes a potentially game-changing development, not unlike the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles. That process ultimately failed because its supporters underestimated the ability of its opponents – both Palestinian and Israeli – to derail the movement toward a comprehensive settlement. In this case, although the opponents are quite different (an unholy alliance of Israeli hardliners, Iranian Shi’a nationalists, Saudi Arabia, and the Republican Party), the main battle will be decided in Congress—assuring that President Obama has sufficient support to sustain his veto of the probable rejection of the deal.

The Iran deal is a compromise, as is any deal, by definition. Most importantly, through a combination of incentives and safeguards, the agreement provides the best mechanism to prevent an Iranian bomb today and well into the future. The fact that opponents of the deal are unable to articulate a better alternative – other than unrealistically claiming that Iran, a sovereign nation that has existed for 2500 years, can be humiliated into essentially renouncing its sovereignty – is a proof that this deal is necessary. It is a triumph of diplomacy over fear.

But the opportunities created by this large-scale diplomatic crisis go much beyond the Iran agreement itself. The deal reached in Vienna should be used as a stepping-stone to reengage the region in a focused effort to comprehensively tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Careful and complex diplomacy will be required. Read More »

Plugin by Social Author Bio