Diplomacy was invented to deal with one’s enemies. It was invented as a way to achieve vital interests without the death and destruction of war. Diplomacy does not move quickly or easily, and rarely has clear and definitive endings. But neither do wars, as we should have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade. Last weekend’s interim agreement with Iran is the first step, not the last; it does not mean we are done with difficult decisions and discussions. But if we remember that every nation seeks its national interests, and that only agreements that meet realistic national interests will have staying power, we should be grateful for the accomplishments in Geneva. They merit our support, not ill-considered additional sanctions intended only to end diplomatic efforts.



The writer is a retired Foreign Service officer.