Yet there is little reason to believe that the Iran deal would lead to a complete reorientation of U.S. policy toward Iran. The Ayatollah himself appears to have little interest in such an outcome, U.S. sanctions on Iran for its human rights violations and support for terrorism will remain in place, and U.S. domestic support for Israel and opposition to groups like Hezbollah is not going away anytime soon. The deal therefore will not lead to a full American embrace of Tehran or the condoning of all Iranian policies. On the contrary, there is some hope that the resumption of economic relations will increase Western leverage over Iran on precisely these issues.
In sum, many of the most common criticisms of the Iran deal are quite weak. While the deal is certainly not perfect, it is the best deal available. Any imperfections should not obscure the bottom line: the deal is a significant nonproliferation achievement that substantially limits Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future.
Nicholas L. Miller is the Frank Stanton Assistant Professor of Nuclear Security and Policy at Brown University. His research focuses primarily on the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Security Studies. He received his PhD in Political Science from MIT in 2014.
Image: Office of Iran's Supreme Leader