A window for a breakthrough peace deal between the United States and Iran over its nuclear program exists before June. Yet, even if such a deal can be struck, it faces resistance from hardliners in our own Congress and abroad.

President Obama and Iranian President Rouhani’s diplomacy has already yielded results, with Iran reducing its stockpile of nuclear materials in exchange for partial sanctions relief in an interim agreement. With Iran’s economy in shambles under the sanctions regime, Iran has been suing for peace, and Rouhani has shown he is a moderate that is willing to challenge the hardliners in his own country to deliver on a deal.

Meanwhile, hardliners in Congress, goaded by partisanship and foreign interest lobbies, are undermining diplomacy with threats of new sanctions and unrealistic demands. Now Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is planning to come to Washington to press that hard line.

A realistic deal would lift sanctions in exchange for limiting Iran’s nuclear program and an inspections regime to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. If the P5+1 talks with the United States and five allies deliver such a deal, Congress should resist the hard liners and act in the American interest and the interest of peace, and support it.

David Matos

President

Carolina Peace Resource Center

Marion Street

Columbia