I was driving in the car alone when I heard the news that our treaty with Iran was in force and prisoners were being exchanged. I wanted to sing the "Te Deum." I did go home and find the Monks of Solesmes* singing it on YouTube.
The treaty is an amazing accomplishment. Since the CIA overthrew Iran's elected government in 1954, Iranians have had reason to hold us in deep suspicion, if not outright hate us. In 1979, when the Shah was overthrown and then our embassy was seized and our citizens were taken hostage -- well, enmity grew on both sides. So diplomats had to work to persuade the Iranian parliament and the Supreme Leader as well as Congress not to sabotage the negotiations.
Additionally, the Iranian government well knew, as does North Korea, the fate of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi when he voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. And while the United States understood how Middle East instability would grow without a treaty, we also recognized that compliance with the treaty would give Iran access to a hundred billion dollars in embargoed oil profits -- which could be used to develop weapons.
It is really a great tribute to Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran and the U.S. could come to this agreement. It is also a great tribute to the Iranians. It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to God and sing -- or listen to -- the "Te Deum."
O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
*An earlier version of this blog misspelled Solemes.