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Dear Congress: don't sabotage our chance to end the cold war with Iran

•, Marc Joffe and Sheldon Richman

In January, congressional Democrats and Republicans who are united in their skepticism of – if not outright opposition to – the interim Iran nuclear deal will attempt to pass a new round of economic sanctions against the Iranian people. This move would very likely scuttle the current six-month agreement, end negotiations toward a comprehensive settlement, and put us back on the path to war.

Congressional hostility toward Iran is rooted in a black-and-white worldview that runs as follows: the United States and Israel are liberal democracies that defend individual rights and human dignity, whereas Iran is a despotic theocratic regime that sponsors terrorism and would do anything within its power to wipe Israel off the map.

The world is rarely black and white, and conflicts are usually not resolved until each side understands the other's point of view. With that in mind, it may be worth pondering some inconvenient truths that would cause a fair-minded Iranian to doubt congressional wisdom.

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