Now the real fun begins

The Iran nuclear deal has been finalized, finally. But this shouldn’t be paralleled with it being a done deal as far as the United States Congress is concerned. The deal has already provided an abundance of red meat for Republicans. With an agreement this complex with countries that have been enemies since the hostage crisis in 1979, there is no way for it be universally accepted piece by piece. If the deal is to be successfully rejected by Congress it will have to be by a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto.

The lobbying from Israel against the accord will be like nothing anyone has ever seen (or not seen) before. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already ripped the agreement as “an historic mistake”, though he hasn’t read it. Maybe Congress will again invite him, a leader of a foreign country, to make a speech denouncing our country’s foreign policy. I wonder what would have happened if Congress had done this when Nixon was making nice with China.

This agreement seems to be post-nuclear. In time it’s doubtful that Iran will not get the bomb if they want it. But before they might there will be engagement with the rest of the world. Trade will boom, fueling Iran’s economy but also fueling the economies of its trading partners. A strong economy produces happy people who will not want anything to do with extremists who want to blow up their world. Likewise, open economies usually open up societies as well.

But make no mistake about it. There are likely good guys and bad guys in Iranian leadership and the bad guys might win. Not only might they get the bomb, they could double-down on the United States as “the Great Satan.” But as nuclear proliferation is not a good thing, especially if from your enemy, it has not been a death warrant. If anything, nuclear bombs are a massive deterrent for a major war. Think Cold War.

A fear that Iran might use the bomb is almost surely misplaced. It would be the end of Iran. But don’t get too comfortable. There’s always North Korea. Now that’s scary.



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