In refusing to grant a visa to Iran's ambassador-designate to the United Nations, Hamid Aboutalebi, President Barack Obama risks complicating his still-delicate diplomatic dialogue with the Iranian regime. He may also raise the ire of other states, including allies, who worry that the incident will be precedent-setting and restrict their own freedom to send their chosen representatives to New York. Nevertheless, Obama's decision was not only correct, it may make his Iran strategy more effective.
The recent near-collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry's Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts unleashed the characteristic wave of criticism that predictably follows in the wake of such setbacks. Yet indulging in finger-pointing, wishing that the parties had different positions, or throwing up our hands and walking away will lead nowhere.
The latest round of nuclear negotiations with Iran, the April 8-9 talks that just concluded in Vienna, marked a midpoint between the interim accord of Jan. 20 and the July 20 date to sign a permanent deal. So how's Iran doing at midterm? Let me put it this way: If Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were my student at Michigan or Georgetown and I graded him for meeting the interim accord, he would be looking at a midterm "F," for failing. If, however, he were being graded on outfoxing Professor Barack Obama of the University of Chicago at midterm, Rouhani would earn an "A."
The ongoing debate on U.S. immigration reform tends to focus on domestic aspects of this legislation still pending with Congress, but there is another issue worth looking at that has global impact.
India's election, which begins this week and rolls through May 16, will be the largest peacetime exercise in human history. It will feature 815 million voters, including 100 million new ones. It will boast 300 million more voters than in the next three biggest democracies -- America, Indonesia, and Brazil -- combined. And there will be decisive contests in single states like Uttar Pradesh, alone home to as many people as Germany, France, and Britain put together.