Being old enough to remember the ruins of my city as the result of conventional bombs, I wonder at the significance of the nuclear deal. An Iran equipped with missiles similar to the V2 of WWII could destroy Israel’s cities and towns just as effectively as those weapons of the 1940s destroyed parts of England. Even the best Iron Dome can be overwhelmed by sufficient numbers of missiles.

So what can this pact with its secret side agreements accomplish? Will it help to convince the Sunni world led by Saudi Arabia that they have a breathing space before they have to face a militarily superior Shia? Will it convince the Supreme Council that Iran can be recognized as a great power by a West which is not its enemy? Do we really believe that the inclusion of the word nuclear in this agreement somehow makes it a significant step in reigning in Iran’s imperialist aims in the Middle East? This is not a peace pact. It is a small Band-Aid on the gaping wound of a region in which extremism is becoming the new normal.

If the Congress assents nothing in the near future will change except that the sanctions will become a dead issue, Assad’s position will be strengthened and ISIS will continue its predation in Syria and Iraq. If Congress dissents our relationships with Europe and Russia may suffer and the Supreme Council will be confirmed in its view of America. Less loss to us with assent than with dissent. A weak negative result is better than a strong one.

So pass the deal.

Michael F. Sheff