Friday, July 17, 2015

One picture says it all: The people of Iran want peace

There is an amazing photo floating around social media, starting with Twitter:


Check out that t-shirt and the pride of the man wearing it. Considering all the hubris from conservatives in Congress about Iran and nuclear weapons, that's not exactly a model terrorist in the picture. This image is an incredible contrast to the students shouting death to the US that I saw in 1979.

It would seem to me that the people of Iran, at least the young people, are very happy with the nuclear arms agreement that President Obama signed with their country. Proponents say that the agreement will avert a new war in the region. Opponents say that it will only give Iran more room to build a few bombs they can toss at Israel. Well then, if that's the case, Israel might want to shape up, and I sincerely doubt Iran wants a war with anyone right now, if ever.

Still, there's more to the deal with Iran than just weapons. I think some people are really upset that sanctions might be lifted. Some are concerned that trade relations might normalize, that free trade might lift many young Iranians out of poverty by growing their economy. As you can see from this Twitter feed, there is widespread celebration in Iran of the conclusion of this agreement. Cooler heads may prevail with the young people of Iran.

Iran is sitting on 158 billion barrels of oil and has something north of 30 million barrels sitting in tankers offshore. They want to sell oil, no doubt. But the infrastructure is in decline and significant investments are needed to get production back to pre-2008 levels. So don't expect much of a drop in prices at the pump just yet. The implications of this deal have already been baked into gas prices. Frackers are not going to be happy.

I think that the most significant aspect of this deal is the release of so much tension about a possible war with Iran. This agreement could still fall through as conservatives in Congress seem aching to nix it in whatever way they can. Their unstated reason for killing the deal? Because it's another achievement for Obama. That might be bad news in the polls come November of next year. I guess conservatives in Congress have to decide if they want to be seen as doves or hawks. Hopefully, the decision to approve the agreement with Iran is not entirely up to them.

We could have peace. But all of us must share the desire for it.
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