International treaties are not designed for those who are either eternally gullible or incurably skeptical. The success of international agreements is measured in terms of a combination of factors: their overall vision, how well they express the reconciliation of conflicting interests, and meticulous and smart implementation. Such agreements are always less than perfect for both sides (which is also their strength), and therefore must be considered as a living organism which has to be constantly nurtured and coaxed. The agreement between Iran and the world’s main powers regarding the Iranian nuclear program is no exception, and out of the thousands upon thousands of words in it that outline all the details, the two key words that are repeated often in the document are “good faith.” Supporters of the agreement see only the hope in it and its detractors only the dangers. Neither sees it for what it is – a working compromise which is less than perfect. The hope, in the words of the agreement itself, is that Iran “… under no circumstances will… see, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons,” and in the process will become a much more agreeable participant in international affairs. The fear on the other hand, is that Iran will lull the international community, which is unwilling to confront it militarily or even economically anymore, into a false sense of security. This would, so the argument goes, enable Iran to covertly develop nuclear military capability and become an undisputed regional hegemon in the Middle East.
Is an Iran with less financial and other constraints more likely to increase its support of, for instance, Hezbollah in Lebanon or the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria? It would be foolish to dismiss these concerns as out of hand. However, they represent a worst case scenarioYossi Mekelberg