In one of the most encouraging deals in decades, the US and other western powers reached a deal with Iran President Hassan Rouhani to limit Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for a relaxation of economic sanctions on Iran. Although merely the first step in a long process, it could make the Middle East and the world a safer place. Not only will it prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, it demonstrates that peaceful negotiations are better and more productive than threats and bluster.
Improved relationships between Iran and the US have been a long time coming. There are serious grievances on both sides. But we have much in common with the Iranian people…too much to consider each other enemies.
Of course, not everyone is happy with these promising developments. The GOP warmongers in Congress, like John McCain and his pal Lindsay Graham, would love to have an excuse to “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” Some have even derided the agreement as an attempt by the Obama administration to distract us from the problems of the roll-out of “Obamacare.” Iran likely has its own hardliners who are dissatisfied by the agreement. The Saudis, who belong to the Sunni sect of Islam, are unhappy that we are on the verge of making peace with a nation dominated by the Shiite sect of Islam. And the greatest warmonger of all, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has called the agreement “a historic mistake.”
With friends like these, who needs enemies? These are people whose livelihoods depend on conflict. They thrive on it. And they most certainly profit from it.
We should ignore them all. Instead of embracing their paranoia, we should reject it. We have had far too much war, anger and mistrust. We have tried the path of George W. Bush and Richard “The Dick” Cheney. And what has it gotten us? It has brought the world nothing but death, destruction, rising debts and displaced populations seeking vengeance. In this nuclear-armed world, it’s time to try another approach; one in which we talk with our enemies instead of threatening them. It worked for JFK and Khrushchev in 1962. It could work again.
Both President Obama and President Rouhani seem to understand this. Is it possible that, for once, we have the right people in the right positions at the right time?