The deal is done. The agreement is made. The ink is dry on the so-called “Iran nuclear deal,” which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). So what do we make of it?

If you listen to most Republicans, some Democrats, and most of the conservative media establishment, the deal is a bad one, and bound to lead to a duplicitous and concerted effort on the part of Iran to circumvent the deal, move forward with a clandestine nuclear program, and reap the benefits of the lifting of sanctions agreed to in the JCPOA.

According to an opinion piece on, the deal will, among other things, allow the Iranians to use funds freed up by the lifting of sanctions to fund terrorism and the Iranian military. Additionally, it will not permit Americans to be a part of the IAEA inspection teams that will inspect Iranian nuclear sites.

Those are scathing (and largely true) critiques. Yet, do they signify that the deal is a bad one?

SOFREP itself pointedly commented on the deal, as well, noting that Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, is the international terrorist group responsible for the highest body count of Americans, pre-9/11. Again, a fair—and true—point.

So, do these critiques mean the deal is a bad one? There are a lot of brickbats being lobbed at the JCPOA, and even at the idea of a deal with Iran. Israel is also opposed to the JCPOA, and it appears, to any agreement at all with Iran. Saudi Arabia, too, does not favor an American nuclear deal with Iran. Are they both right?

The latter is probably too simplistic a question. There are rarely black and whites in international relations. There are only the muted greys of national interests and policies that serve those interests. That is why America, and the rest of the world, largely ignores instances of African genocide, but acts swiftly when ethnic tensions threaten stability in southeastern Europe, for example. National interests, my friends.

So, Saudi Arabia and Israel are probably right in opposing a deal with Iran, as far as their own national interests are concerned. After all, Israel (rightly) sees an existential threat in Iran, and Saudi Arabia sees a regional political rival, dominated by an antagonistic religious sect antithetical to that of its own ruling family. The interests of neither country, then, are served by a rapprochement between America and Iran.