Of course, the framework for the Iran nuclear deal is not perfect. The United States did not get everything it wanted. That is the essence of a compromise. At the same time, Iran did not walk away holding all aces either. This is a major step in the right direction and I hope that the debate that follows in the U.S. Congress is reasonable and casts the myths aside. In the final analysis, this is not a Neville Chamberlain Moment, as for example, the left-leaning Guardian has noted. Rather it appears to be much more strategic as a Prince Metternich Moment. The former appeased Nazi Germany and set the table for Hitler's international aggression. The latter reigned in the chaos of a generation of revolution and Napoleonic expansion and bought a century of peace.

I want to address some myths that have been propagated by opponents of the Iran deal's framework:

  1. The U.S. Has Begged for a Deal Out of Weakness - opponents need to recognize that it is the suffocating international sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, and have kept them there for many months. Besides, this is hardly a case of a weakened US waving a white flag of surrender. While Secretary of State John Kerry has been indeed the bona fide leader at the negotiations, this process has involved the P5+1 countries as well - China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany - none of which can be considered to be shrinking violets or appeasers.
  2. President Obama's Chief Motivation for a Deal Has Been His Legacy - all Presidents think and act in consideration of how their achievements will be assessed by historians. This is particularly true for those fortunate enough to be in final quarter of their second term. But the President has always been consistent about engaging with our enemies and about opening a dialogue with Iran - just as he has with Cuba and with his unsuccessful efforts to "reset" the US relationship with Russia. This is not a surprise at all.
  3. Iran Is An Enemy and Threatens Close Allies in the Region - our major Sunni Muslim allies in the region like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan need the US as much as we need them. Above all, they all need stability in a time of revolutionary chaos and the psychotic behavior of the Islamic State. Shiite Iran is a powerful regional force and has created a crescent of support in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, and Palestine. This is a fact on the ground and the US needs a powerful counterbalance to the instability brought on by ISIS. The Iranian deal creates a realpolitik regional balance of power that serves to forge a semblance of stability in a chaotic region. Put more bluntly, in the words of the bluntest of them all, Lyndon B. Johnson , who when asked about firing FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, said famously: " I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." Iran is easier to watch within the tent.
  4. Israel Is Being Thrown Under the Bus - Iran will eventually develop a nuclear weapon. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. That is no reason to cheer at all but it begs the key question: Once you have it, just what are you going to do with it? Rogue states are dangerous but they have responsibilities to their citizens and are not terrorists who are suicidal. Any effort on Iran's part to break this deal will lead to even stricter strangulating sanctions. Any sign of an effort to launch a nuclear attack would not only be intercepted but would invite the US and Israel - let alone any other power - to obliterate the country. Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu would be wise to join the new concert as opposed to isolating his country from the region's power brokers. Israel's hard line, settlements policy, and isolation probably threaten its existence even more.

This is not my conjuring up John Lennon's beautiful but naïve ode to Give Peace a Chance. Rather, we need to keep our eyes wide open - as in good intelligence and a rigid protocol of inspections, which Iran has agreed to - and allow this framework to proceed.

It will be a tough sell for the President. A majority of American voters have supported a negotiated deal. While a majority also favors getting the approval of Congress, the GOP leadership must accept the fact that they go into this debate with a less than 20% approval rate. Congressional debate can easily turn into public revulsion if they overplay their hands as they have with governmental shutdowns.