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Friday, April 3, 2015

Is Obama too desperate for an Iran deal?

...The President may insist that the United States will choose no deal over a bad deal, but few people truly believe he has a credible Plan B. Few believe it, particularly in the Middle East and notably among America's Arab friends, who hold the view that Iran is running circles around the United States and outplayed Obama.

As the writer David Rothkopf aptly put it, "Iran is having a great Obama administration."

That's a belief that has already started shaking up the region. Saudi Arabia has said that it will pursue nuclear weapons if it believes Iran has not been stopped, and there is little doubt that other countries among Iran's Muslim rivals will do the same. In fact, the notion that Obama is not handling the Iranian threat effectively is contributing to a new war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and other Arabs are trying to push back against gains by Iran's allies...

1 comment:

Skippy Stalin said...

Here's what people don't get. As time moves on and the circumstances get more favourable to one side, the cost of negotiation goes up.

Iran offered the United States a what in retrospect was an incredible deal back in 2005, capping centrifuge use to something like 120. The Bush administration said no, supposing that the program would just magically disappear on its own. It didn't.

Iraq and Afghanistan were also game changers in that it was pretty clear that the United States couldn't effectively strike Iran and deal with the fallout when it was spread so thin. Because war hawks have no idea what they're talking about, they still believe that all three conflicts were tenable at once, even though the history is pretty clear that not even two of them were.

It has also become clear that Netanyahu, for all of his useless bluster, can't or won't attack on his own. That has allowed Tehran to the up the ante in negotiations, while also using Bibi's rhetoric as domestic propaganda. Granted, I do love the sweet irony of Israeli prime ministers talking about "illegal nuclear programs."

Want a realistic, long-term deal? Get the P5 out of it entirely, and let Israel and the Arabs sit around a table and negotiate. Worst case scenario, the Arab holdouts are forced to recognize Israel as a strategic partner, and vice versa.

But that's not what those most directly affected by Iran want. They want a deal that costs them absolutely nothing, and that they're free to bitch about. They'd much prefer that the five countries that could vaporize Iran without breaking a sweat to do the heavy lifting.