Over the past two weeks, the unorthodox letter to Iranian officials authored by Sen. Tom Cotton has received high media coverage. This is understandable, considering that this letter marked a serious departure from political decorum and, arguably, the law. What most articles miss though, is the big picture. By zeroing in on this singular instance, we neglect to recognize that negotiations with Iran are of far greater consequence than political games, and even more important than the possibility of a changing relationship between the global West and the Iranian government.
These negotiations have to do with the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons — a truly existential threat that we have become frighteningly complacent toward. The fact that the word “diplomacy” has taken on such a negative connotation of inaction is troublesome. A steady process may lend itself to progressive change if given the chance. We have an opportunity to work toward a world where such an outdated and extreme measure that compromises rather than ensures global security no longer looms in the background.
Negotiations with Iran, without the threat of premature sanctions or other extraneous commentary from the proverbial peanut gallery, could mark an important step forward in the fight for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Let’s let diplomacy work and avoid unnecessary conflict.
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