The nuclear deal struck between Iran and a group of six nations isn’t perfect, but it’s the best one considering the other alternatives. In an interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, President Obama explained how the deal isn’t being measured by whether it solves every problem related to the Iranian regime (it doesn’t), it’s being measured by whether or not it stops Iran from developing a nuclear weapon (it does).
This isn’t naïve; it’s pragmatic. Obama knows that given Iran’s past bad behavior (attempts to weaponized the nuclear program, support for terrorism, etc.), expecting honesty on their part is not enough. That’s why the deal, as Obama explained, “is not based on trust; it’s based on a verifiable mechanism, whereby every pathway they have is shut off.”
As I remarked in late 2013 when dialogue between Iran and the U.S. was just starting to begin, the attitude of the Obama administration reminds me of the expression “Make Peace, Not Love”, coined by Israeli writer Amos Oz (as an alternative to the “Make Love, Not War” anti-war slogan from the 1960s). In other words, the opposite of war is not love – it is peace. Avoiding war, therefore, doesn’t require that the West cozy up to the Iranian regime, they just need to exploit every possible pathway to peace.