Well-meaning opinion all over the world has applauded President Obama’s diplomacy. His move towards easing the American–Iranian hostility is being welcomed.
Vigorous opposition, however, is voiced by the leaders of Israel, by large sections of Israeli public opinion, by Iran’s rivals in the Middle East and by those who for other reasons oppose any strengthening of Teheran’s power.
In the U.S., two former Secretaries of State – Henry Kissinger and George Shultz – have criticized the deal in detail in an article in The Wall Street Journal (April 7), mainly on the grounds of insufficient verifiability. This is their conclusion:
“If the world is to be spared even worse turmoil, the U.S. must develop a strategic doctrine for the region,” they argue. “Stability requires an active American role. For Iran to be a valuable member of the international community, the prerequisite is that it accepts restraint on its ability to destabilize the Middle East and to challenge the broader international order.”
As to Israel, its opposition is shared by many Jewish leaders in the U.S. Leo Smith wrote an article in Tablet Magazine (April 16) in response to the argument that, after all, the Iranian leaders were rational. By no means, the writer believes. They have declared again and again that they are determined to destroy Israel.
Their government is “irrational in its very essence, for anti-Semitism is the form that unreason takes in modern political life. Disregarding the regime’s anti-Semitism is not a way of politely papering-over stray rhetoric or a barely relevant superstition that is not of any conceivable relevance to grand matters of state. It is to willfully ignore the nature of the regime. Seen from this perspective, the White House’s key foreign policy initiative – to strike a deal with such a regime – is willfully perverse, and doomed to failure.”