Is this the best the world could get from the debilitating sanctions placed on Iran? Might greater concessions been extracted at the bargaining table? We don't know. But it's clear the alternative to this act of diplomacy — further ratcheting up of sanctions in hopes that Iran might eventually cry "uncle," or direct military intervention were the only possible alternatives, with the former looking like a fantasy and the latter too awful to contemplate. Moreover, this provides an opportunity to determine whether the more moderate rhetoric coming from Iran's new president, Hassan Rowhani, is genuine and backed by the clerics who wield ultimate power in Iran without taking any steps that would be irreversible.