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This Deal Is a Big Deal

EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (second left) and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Lausanne. (Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Image)

Today, the U.S. and its partners secured a commitment from Iran to significantly constrain its nuclear program and subject it to intrusive inspections in order to prevent a path to an Iranian nuclear weapon.  If these commitments are converted into a final comprehensive deal over the next three months, President Obama and Secretary Kerry and their partners will have secured through diplomacy what neither war nor sanctions could ever have accomplished.

This has been a tough negotiation, and a final nuclear deal will bring a hard-fought peace. But the progress that has been achieved is substantial and was at one time unthinkable.

When this negotiation started in November 2013, hundreds of disagreements separated the U.S. and its P5+1 partners from Iran. Today, we have only three or four remaining gaps to bridge. Some of the toughest and most intractable of issues now have a solution. We have never been closer to a final deal.

Small minds will obsess over what has been given. Great minds will celebrate what has been gained. We are steering a clear path to a peaceful resolution to the nuclear dispute – averting both war and an Iranian nuclear weapon. 

Not long ago, few thought this was possible. But, thanks to the leadership of President Obama and Secretary Kerry, peace is not only possible; it is now probable. By following through on the courage of their convictions, they have achieved more progress on the Iranian nuclear issue in 16 months than we’d achieved altogether over the past 15 years. 

Now is not the time to undo all of this progress or to see this chance for peace escape. Now is the time to translate this historic moment into a historic achievement and show the world that peace can prevail. 

Some in Congress and elsewhere will seek to undermine this process and scuttle an agreement altogether. They were wrong before on Iraq; they are wrong today on Iran. Only diplomacy can resolve the nuclear dispute and calm this crisis. It is important that the negotiations be insulated from those who fear peace more than they fear war.

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Trita Parsi

Trita Parsi

Trita Parsi is founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He is author of Losing an Enemy - Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy; A Single Roll of the Dice - Obama's Diplomacy with Iran; and Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States.

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