The Iran Deal: A first step toward peace and security

By Nathan Cogan of Portland, Oregon. Nathan is a professor emeritus at Portland State University.

As a teacher of Holocaust and genocide studies at Portland State University, I understand the intertwined issues of Israeli security and the need for peace in the Middle East. And I truly believe the proposed Iran agreement will increase the security of Israel, the U.S. and the rest of the world by stopping all paths to Iran developing a nuclear weapon.

I am deeply encouraged by our Democratic delegation’s statements of qualified praise for the Iran nuclear agreement that the Obama Administration and their international partners were able to finalize last week. (Recognizing, of course, that Greg Walden avoided that praise.) Now I’m hopeful that Oregon’s delegation will lead Congress and the Senate to support this agreement. As Rep. Earl Blumenauer said, “We now have a path to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran that would unravel what little stability remains in the Middle East...I will withhold judgment until I've had time to look at the facts and compare them to the alternatives. My hope is that the majority of my colleagues, and the American public, do the same.”

As a long time pro-Israel Democrat who strongly supports a two state solution in Israel/Palestine, I view a nuclear agreement as a first and positive step. Our leaders should do everything they can to avoid war in the future and this agreement is a good start. They recognize that diplomacy is the best option.

Significantly their stance is pro-peace in three important ways:

  1. It’s based on intrusive verification, not on trust in Iran;
  2. It will keep economic sanctions in place until Iran’s compliance is verified; and
  3. It will not ignore separate sanctions connected to Iranian human rights violations and terrorist sponsorships like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Let’s tell our Representatives and Senators they must carefully consider the deal and support diplomacy as the best way to realize peace and security in the region. A military campaign against Iran is not an answer! If we use diplomacy with courage, conviction and tough sanctions, we may witness the beginning of a new world order.

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