If the New York Comedy Cellar can hold a debate the Iran issue, why shouldn’t everyone?
First, it seems that an Iran deal may be part of a larger Obama strategy. Can diplomacy prove to be a defining success for the administration–not only in Iran but with regard to other conflicts and global challenges?
Fatigued by the warfare of recent years, the world in effect is testing whether it can work out at least some of its problems at the bargaining table instead of the battlefield. For Mr. Obama, the flurry of negotiations offers a chance to leave behind accomplishments in a foreign policy arena that otherwise has been dominated by stalemated armed conflicts in the Middle East.
“Part of our goal here has been to show that diplomacy can work,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times. “It doesn’t work perfectly. It doesn’t give us everything that we want.” But, he added, “what we can do is shape events in ways where it’s more likely that problems get solved, rather than less likely, and that’s the opportunity we have now.”
Dig in to better understand the various arguments, deal particulars, and opposing interests with these key points:
- Quick Refresher on the Deal (NYT) and 200 Word Summary
- The deal was complex. Here is another helpful breakdown (NYT) of who wanted what–and what each side got.
- The Role of Congress
- Supporters: Iran Activists on YouTube, 100 Diplomats, Israeli analysts/military Fred Kaplan, Kristof
- Opponents: Republicans in Congress, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, Alan Dershowitz, Many Israelis and American Organizations (AIPAC, Anti-Defamation League), Brooks
To explore more supporters and opponents, see James Fallows in The Atlantic Online for a lengthier list–and a somewhat incomplete but very far-ranging discussion.
And if you wonder whether a deal will be effective, let’s get wonky and go to game theory for answers.