Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 on a promise of change, and he has now delivered, forging a historic international agreement in his image that fundamentally shifts the paradigm of power in the Middle East.
The deal sealed on Tuesday between six world powers and Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, will forever define Obama’s legacy as commander-in-chief. It is the most significant arms control agreement adopted since the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed between the US and the Soviet Union in 1991; the most consequential single policy action in the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003; and the most dramatic reversal of US relations with a foreign nation since Richard Nixon visited China in 1972.
And like all major policy shifts, the JCPOA carries tremendous risk for the president and for his country. Obama is investing in the future of a government that has, over its 36 years in existence, defined itself in opposition to much of what America stands for.
That is what Obama’s administration reflects on when it discusses the entity that Iran has become. It is with an educated knowledge of history that Obama strode down the State Floor of the White House on Tuesday morning and announced a sweeping deal with an Islamic state.
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