In This Review

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Bombs, Bureaucrats, and Billionaires
The Iran Nuclear Deal: Bombs, Bureaucrats, and Billionaires
By Dennis C. Jett
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 481 pp

Despite occasional cries from the academy that domestic politics are—or should be—irrelevant to foreign policy, practitioners and policymakers know that the two are irrevocably linked. In this book on the politics of the Iran nuclear deal, Jett takes an interesting, if imperfect, look at the domestic actors that sought to influence U.S. policy before and after the international negotiations that led to the deal. Jett, whose belief that no truly rational argument can be made against the agreement shines forth on every page, gets at least one important thing right: although some of the most prominent individuals and organizations that opposed the deal were Jewish, the U.S. Jewish community was deeply divided over Iran policy, with most Jewish Americans siding with President Barack Obama and supporting the agreement. That said, Jett’s inability to grasp the salience of the procedural and policy arguments that opponents of the deal brought forward leads to a somewhat one-sided account of a complex debate. At its weakest, the book reads like a collection of talking points; at its best, it helps readers understand the complicated links between domestic politics and foreign policy that presidents and diplomats neglect at their peril.