It eventually dawned on me that some people don't see a world full of people and countries, doing their own things. They see only enemies and allies. Everything our enemies do is wrong, because their motives are wicked -- why else would they be our enemies? No matter what happens, we should always oppose our enemies however we can, and support our allies. Anything we do in support of our interests or those of our allies is by definition good, because we are the good guys and have to stand up to our wicked enemies.
People of this sort look at the Iran deal and say, this helps our enemy, Iran, and that is bad; plus it offends our allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, which makes it doubly bad. Therefore we must reject it. They justify their thinking with paragraphs like this:
There is no evidence that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a Gorbachev-like figure. Iran gives every indication of being an aggressive, revolutionary power. It is rallying, arming and directing military forces in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq. The reported agreement to partially lift the arms embargo against Iran — a dramatic concession — must seem to the United States’ Sunni allies and partners like de facto U.S. recognition of Iranian spheres of military influence across the region. Because it is.Hmmm. Who else is "rallying, arming and directing military forces in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq"? That would be us. If arming and rallying military forces is an illegitimate activity, why are we doing it? I do understand that not all armed forces are equivalent, and that arming the Islamic State is something different from arming the more-or-less elected government of Afghanistan. But in Iraq, the forces we are arming and rallying are fighting side by side with the ones armed and rallied by Iran; if not for Iranian help, the government we support would be in grave danger of complete collapse. (Does that put Iraq within the U.S. or Iranian "sphere of military influence"?) In Syria, the forces we support and those Iran supports are both fighting the Islamic State, and for both the U.S. and Iran the nightmare scenario would be a complete ISIS victory. Yemen is an unfortunate mess, but to my mind the main bad guy there is the Saudis, who seem to be bombing everything at random in pursuit of Iranian "clients" who were never actually very close to Iran, although if the Saudis keep bombing them they may soon end up that way.
I do not see how thinking about the fighting in Yemen in terms of pro-American and pro-Iranian interests makes any sense, or helps anything. It is the interests of Yemenis that we ought to be worried most about, and after that the stability of the whole region. I suspect that if we looked into the matter we would find that the U.S. and Iran share their main interests in Yemen, and in fact both countries have supported recent attempts to declare a cease fire.
Since I don't see the world as divided into armed camps that must always be enemies, I have no problem separating the nuclear issue from the other points of contention between the U.S. and Iran. Yes, ending the sanctions will help Iran, and some of the money will likely flow to the Assad regime and Hezbollah. But most of it will remain in Iran and help the Iranians; what's wrong with that? Should we want the people to suffer because we disagree with their government? Why? If we can keep Iran from getting the bomb for ten years, and no great war breaks out in the meantime, then quite likely something will have changed, either in the Iranian government or the regional situation, and we will deal with whatever new problems that come up as they arise.
Right now, for political reasons, we find ourselves opposed to the government of Iran and supporting that of Saudi Arabia. But in the long run, Iranian society is much more open to American ideas and influence than Saudi society, and if the politics can be worked out we may eventually find ourselves much closer to Iran. Let's not throw away that hope by insisting on being their enemies.