In America's conservative media, the order of the day is verbal overkill about this week’s historic announcement of an agreement on Iran's nuclear program.
The greatest source of hyperbole is radio host Mark Levin, who accused the Obama administration of "[planting] the seeds of World War III."
Other critics compare it to the Munich Agreement, which was signed with Germany in 1938 in the vain hopes of putting a stop to Hitler's expansionism.
These alarmist caricatures of what the International Crisis Group called a "triumph of nuclear diplomacy" were predictably relayed by big names within the Republican camp.
They, too, are outdoing one another with escalating superlatives to denounce an agreement that they swear to torpedo within the upcoming weeks.
That seems improbable, to say the least. The U.S. president already stated that he would veto any vote against the agreement, and the number of votes required to stop it seems practically unattainable.
Unless there's an unexpected reversal, the agreement with Iran is here to stay, and nuclear proliferation experts are rejoicing.
Even those within research institutes linked to Republican hawks.
Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a former John McCain adviser, said that the agreement was the best we could hope for "in the real world."*
The Iranian regime will considerably reduce its stockpile of fissionable material and its number of active centrifuges. It also agreed to a strict inspection program that should maintain the peaceful nature of its nuclear program for at least 12, if not 15, years.
The time needed to build an atomic bomb — if the regime hypothetically wanted to — will quickly change from a few months to a year.
For its part, Iran will see the sanctions that have strangled the country for years gradually lifted.
Several Middle Eastern states fear that Iran will take advantage of the unfreezing of its overseas assets and the increase in its oil sales to further its involvement in the crises affecting Syria, Yemen, and even Iraq. Israel is especially worried about its safety.
The United States understands this fear and it is trying to reassure Tel Aviv by increasing its cooperation in defense measures.
Thomas Juneau, of the University of Ottawa, believes that Iran is far from being the regional power detractors claim it is. The country has "nuisance power" that it generally uses as a reactive measure. Its military hardware is obsolete, its economy is crumbling, and its diplomatic isolation is near absolute.
Juneau says that Iran's main objective in signing the nuclear agreement is to relaunch the country's economy and lessen the burden on its people, both of which will eventually threaten its stability.
The violently repressed uprisings after the 2009 elections demonstrate the level of popular dissatisfaction and the urgent need for change.
We should hope that the current changes will strengthen the reformist camp’s struggles against Iranian hardliners and contribute to sustainably opening the country to the world.
There are no guarantees, but the Iranian nuclear agreement is no less promising. The "real world" deserves better than a hawkish, reductionist approach.
*Editor's note: This quoted passage, although accurately translated, could not be independently verified.