Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has deemed the Iranian nuclear deal a "bold stroke of diplomacy" on Monday, as a public relations war over the deal mounts ahead of an expected showdown in US Congress.
Albright penned an opinion piece in CNN drawing on her experiences under former US President Jimmy Carter.
"During my time in office, we offered to engage in dialogue, but the Iranians were not ready," she writes. "In the end, although we improved the relationship on the margins, we failed to make much of a dent in the thick wall of mistrust separating our two countries."
"These experiences lead me to be wary of the Iranian regime and realistic about the prospects for an overnight change in U.S.-Iranian relations," Albright continues. "But it is dangerous not to pursue dialogue, and experience convinces me that the nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran is a wise diplomatic initiative."
Albright notes that while she approaches the deal with caution, "even most opponents agree this accord puts that goal firmly out of Iran's reach for a decade or more," thus at least buying time to find alternative solutions, she argues.
The former Secretary also provides a rebuttal to the argument that a deal should have included other aspects of the Iranian problem, including its human rights violations and terror support.
According to Albright, previous experience with trying to combine terms in a deal of this scope demonstrates that a wide-ranging approach does not work – and that isolating the deal to one issue managed to unite international powers to act more quickly and decisively.
Regarding those issues, Albright proposes three solutions: maximum supervision of Iran's progress using all means available; Washington ensuring to maintain a deterring presence in the Middle East, via arming diplomatic partners and redoubling efforts to fight Iran's terror proxies; and leveraging "carefully calibrated engagement with Iran."
Albright maintained that the deal affords an opportunity for Iranians who disagree with the Islamist regime to find international support, and be encouraged to foment change from within – an argument US President Barack Obama has also touted.