The administration hopes that the deal will thaw U.S. relations with the mullahs’ regime and usher in an age of strategic cooperation between Washington and Tehran. This was the carrot the regime kept dangling in front of Obama, even as its backers in the street chanted “Death to America.”
By contrast, there are clear disadvantages. The most obvious is that Iran will be substantially better off economically because of the deal. Yes, the tough sanctions regimes was already crumbling and hardship was certain to ease even without the deal.
What we have, then, is a fundamental disagreement about how we should approach the Iranian regime. Obama believes we should accommodate the mullahs — attempt to bribe them, I would say — in the hope that they will become good actors. I believe we should attempt to undermine them at every turn in the hope that they will lose power.