I am in NYC this week and there is a "Stop Iran" rally here in Times Square to urge congress to block the Iran deal. I am not going. Israel is gearing up to push congress to block the deal. I am not supportive of that approach. I think even a winning vote in Congress would be a pyrrhic victory.
President Obama may be a lot of things but he is definitely not stupid. He has staked his presidency on this Iran deal. He has thought the approval process through to the end. While everyone thought that Obama needed to be done with this deal early in July to get speedy approval by Congress before the recess, Obama actually wanted the delay. The 60+ days of daylight between the agreement and congressional debate and approval serves him well. The reason is that by the time Congress gets around to debating and voting, the deal is, and will be, a fait accompli.
The first step in that process happened today with the Security Council of the UN approving the deal. The UN resolutions are the basis for US sanctions on Iran. With the UN resolutions gone, the US sanctions have no bite. Moreover, the UN resolution frees the Europeans, Chinese, Russians and others to remove sanctions on Iran, making the USA the only ones what to lose economically. I don't think Congress wants to prejudice US companies in this global competition and even if they do, it will be tough to make it stick with the UN resolution gutting the core of the congressional sanctions.
At this point, the sanctions are over and the deal is done. The world is rushing into the Persian Bazaar. It is a deal that contravenes almost all of what President Obama promised were critical components of the deal except for one: that he would sign a deal. Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu lost that battle with the American President and Netanyahu's speech to Congress had no impact on it. The only thing worse at this point would be to mount a major lobbying and protest effort in congress and lose that too. That would be another chink in the armor and a significant retreat of influence on Capitol Hill and world opinion.
Therefore, it is time to move on. The Middle East is about to arm itself to the hilt. The Iranians are about to become a regional superpower because they will achieve a nuclear bomb. It is time for a new strategy. President Obama seems to be pinning his hopes that opening up the Iranian economy will also open its society and cause regime change. That is "hope he can believe in" but it is a process we need to start lobbying the world for. If the world did a deal with Iran with the hope that it will change the regime, we need to pick up that meme and run with it. Second, we need to refocus away from Nuclear Iran and toward Iran as an exporter of Terrorism. Terrorism by ISIS and Iran is rampant now and the only thing scarier than Iran with a bomb is a terrorist funded by Iran who has a bomb. Actually, with all the funding Iran now has due to removal of the sanctions, they can fund any kind of terrorism they want. And they will. People, the American people, are rightly scared of terrorism exported by radical Islam.
These two memes: regime change and the global export of terrorism resonate far more in the USA and the World than a nuclear Iran somewhere over there in the Middle East. It is time to stop fighting yesterday's battle and to move on to the next one.