Ryan Cooper writes: The prospects for a long-term bargain with Iran are looking better than they have in quite some time. The rise of the Islamic State provided an unexpected boost, since it put Iran on the “same side” as the U.S. The fall in global oil prices hasn’t hurt either, putting pressure on Iran to reach a rapport with the West. So last week, the possible outlines of a deal emerged, and they appear to be acceptable to both moderates in Tehran and the White House.
Predictably, a counter-offensive has been launched by various hawkish factions. Hard-liners in both Iran and the U.S. are trying to scuttle the deal, and so is Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, who is scheduled to give an address to a joint session of Congress with that objective.
It is critical that the hawks fail. This is a good opportunity to ease tensions with Iran, an event that is long overdue.
The hard-liner position in both countries is basically identical. “Our nation can never tolerate this!” shouted one Iranian MP recently, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s a big mistake to have any relationship with the U.S.,” said another.
If anything, American hawks are even more belligerent than their Iranian counterparts. [Continue reading…]