If a bipartisan supermajority does in fact begin to cohere in criticism of the undeniable loopholes and inadequacies of the agreement, it is likely the administration will adjust its position. Provisions that today are impossible to change will become subject to renegotiation and clarification.
The best chance for a better deal, in other words, is overwhelming bipartisan pressure from Capitol Hill about the need for one, rather than acquiescencing to the Obama administration’s claim that this is the best agreement possible because Iran will go no further.
That conclusion overlooks two truths: First, the Iranians are historically capable of adjusting positions they have claimed were immovable to new political realities, and, second, Iran, because of its depleted economy, needs an agreement much more than we do. Congress has the power now to act on these two realities.
This is an initiative, moreover, that many of our friends and partners are likely to welcome. Certainly the countries most affected by the deal — Israel and the Gulf Arab states — have made no secret of their dismay at the concessions granted to the Iranians in the quest for a settlement. Reportedly, even some of our European allies may not be wholly displeased by some congressional push-back — even if not all of them admit so publicly.