Carnegie’s George Perkovich spoke about the domestic implications of the Iran deal and what the debate over the deal reveals about the capacity of the United States to lead in international affairs. Specifically, he pointed out that the debate demonstrated that a significant fraction of U.S. elected officials—and many commentators—don’t understand the fundamental role of compromise in domestic politics and in foreign policy. Without compromise, he says, the United States runs the risk that negotiated agreements and treaties could become impossible.

In the course of discussing how the domestic debate revealed this aversion to compromise, Perkovich also delivered a thorough analysis of the Iran deal itself. He described its upsides and downsides, discussed the important facets of the deal that were glossed over in the debate, and examined whether or not a better deal could have realistically been achieved.

This talk was originally given at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley.