It is hard to shake the feeling. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani's public and private performances during his visit to New York have achieved their goal.
He spoke of three months in which it would be possible, in his opinion, to conclude negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, he understands that the world does not trust his country and is expressing a willingness to cooperate with significant inspection. He acknowledged the Holocaust, even if he is not prepared to discuss its proportions, and has the support of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said the West missed an opportunity to reach a deal with him following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and that the current opportunity should not be squandered.
Even the criticism aimed at Iran's new president, from those in Khamenei's circle, strengthens the veracity of Rouhani's proposal for change and the sense that this is not just a ploy to camouflage an extremist policy with a conciliatory tone.
If your daughter is in love, and you think she is making a terrible mistake, do not tell her that her chosen one is ugly or stupid. It will not help. Ask her to take a look at what you think the problem is. Request that she ask him some questions. Let her feel that you are not forcing her to do anything. Do not tell her not to bring him home anymore, because she could very well decide not to come either. Place conditions that are possible to meet for you to give your blessing, if this blessing is indeed essential.
This is how Iran must be treated. The West has been expecting this moment. It waited until June 14 of this year for economic sanctions to force the evil Haman (Ahmadinejad) to be replaced by Mordechai. The West wants to believe this is what transpired. This may have happened, but maybe it did not. This is the moment to check, not to reject. This is the moment to say to the world: "We want this to be true. If only we have someone before us who is pragmatic and influential, and who is not lying when he says Iran is only interested in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The experience of the past, however, does not allow us to accept this just because of words, and without thorough oversight we cannot abandon the implementation of the tools which led, apparently, to the political change within the ayatollah autocracy."
One more question arises: Will the American Congress agree to lift the heavy sanctions it has imposed on the Iranian economy, even if President Barack Obama is convinced that the time is right? Fareed Zakaria in The Washington Post raises a giant question mark about to this effect, justifiably so. It is possible that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany will agree to a gradual lifting of sanctions, but that Congress will object due to its refusal to approve anything that Obama wants. It is possible that the sanctions imposed on Iran by various other countries will be eased, and that Obama too will cancel the administrative sanctions he has imposed, but that the most severe sanctions will remain in place because of inter-party politics in America.
If this is the case then it is certainly wise to leave this argument to the American political system itself, and not to act as the world's bearer of doom and gloom. This is not only because the world prefers happiness over those who seek to damper it, but because the real decision will not be made in New York -- it will be made in Washington.