Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the Iran nuclear deal in July. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Michael Gerson’s Aug. 4 op-ed column insisted the Iranian nuclear deal is “A great deal — for Iran.” Is this surprising? Real deals must be good for both sides. But just because the deal is good for Iran does not mean it is bad for the United States. In fact, it is an excellent deal for all the nations involved, and it maximizes the possibility of a positive outcome over time. The notion that we could negotiate a great deal for us and a bad one for Iran is just childish.

Mr. Gerson’s “great deal” is predicated on relief from the sanctions that brought Iran to the table. Our negotiating partners probably would abandon those sanctions if Congress blocks the deal. In exchange for relief from the sanctions, the deal elongates nuclear development in Iran for a protracted period. That was always as good as it would get. Outside of this deal, the only way Iran would have considered abandoning its nuclear program was if Israel did the same.

James W. Burrows, Annapolis