As the deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran approaches, so to does the rift between so-called revisionists and so-called patriots. A false binary, in my opinion, which doesn’t hammer at inevitable fault lines but draws them itself.
On the one hand, we have Iran’s hard-liners assuming staunch anti-Americanness goaded a deal, in which American surrender was inevitable to Iran’s growing hegemony. On the other, we’ve got the permanent members of the UNSC assuming sanctions as the violence necessary to engage Iran. Both of these are dangerous interpretations – interpretations that are not only inconsistent with the history of negotiations but also bode terribly with the pseudo-model of containment constructed to warrant violence.
This is not to say violence is never necessary. It is to say, however, that our interpretations of when violence is necessary is vulnerable to our interpretations of history. Allowing sanctions to rule our impressions of an agreement – instead of the wave of events and attempts at negotiation (03-05) prior to the proliferation of sanctions – has the potential to viciously shape foreign policy as one not only dangerously militant, but even worse: in the eyes of the people, justifiably militant.