I’d recommend starting with why even the prospect of a Biden administration has been enough to push Israel and many of its Arab neighbors closer together. During the Obama-Biden years, the U.S. prioritized bringing Iran “in from the cold” over regional stability and violence reduction. It also considered Western Europe a higher authority on revolutionary changes to the Middle East balance of power than the U.S. allies who actually live there. The threat of a return to those ways of thinking, and the desire to maximize the advantages of the current administration, helped ink the deal that many saw as impossible.

Rather than instigate a new round of doomsday predictions and too-cute-by-half analyses of how Thursday’s news is somehow “bad” for anyone but the Iranian mullahs, the experts and campaign officials who got this issue so wrong might want to revisit some other previous assumptions.

Sanctions on Iran were supposed to escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf. Expelling Iran from global oil markets was supposed to destabilize the region. The assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was supposed to trigger World War III. Bringing troops home from Iraq and Syria was supposed to be a capitulation to Russia. Altering the U.S. attitude toward greater Turkish action in the region was supposed to be a needless provocation to Russia. (Either way, it’s always about Russia.) And, most importantly of course, it was an outrage to Western Europe.