Max Boot says Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran heralds “the dawn of the Iranian empire.”
Those provisions should be read in conjunction with the agreement’s promise to lift all sanctions on a long line of Iranian entities and individuals — 61 pages worth, to be exact — including a promise to lift sanctions on Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, who is to Shiite terrorism what Osama bin Laden was to Sunni terrorism. Assuming that this is in fact what the agreement says (notwithstanding whispers from some American officials that it’s another Qassem Soleimani who is benefitting), this is a stunning concession to Iran’s imperial designs in the Middle East.
What this means is that Iran will soon have more than $100 billion extra to spend not only on exporting the Iranian revolution and dominating neighboring states (Gen. Soleimani’s job) but that it will also before long be free to purchase as many weapons — even ballistic missiles — as it likes on the world market. No wonder Vladimir Putin appears to be happy: This deal is likely to become a windfall for Russian arms makers, although you can be sure that Iran will also spread its largesse to manufacturers in France and, if possible, the UK so as to give those countries an extra stake in not re-imposing sanctions.
To sum up: The agreement with Iran, even if Iran complies (which is a heroic assumption), will merely delay the weaponization of Iran’s nuclear program by a few years, while giving Iran a massive boost in conventional power in the meantime. What do you think Iran’s Sunni neighbors, all of whom are terrified of Iranian power, will do in response?
Read the whole thing.
Traditionally the Persians have been much better than the Arabs are at fighting traditional wars, but the sanctions regime has gone far in establishing a balance between the two ethnicities. The Arab armed forces don’t enjoy much of a solider ethos, but they’re equipped with more and better weapons. Iran has longer and deeper military military traditions (as opposed to the tribal warrior spirit more common in the Arab world), but sanctions have all but crippled the Iranian Air Force and curtailed the Army’s modernization efforts.
That’s all coming undone now, and at a time of American retreat.
Now let’s go to Richard Fernandez:
Perhaps the weakest aspect of Obama’s foreign policy is his readiness to betray friendly civilizations such as the Israelis, Kurds, Christians — even the Sunnis and the Shia who have placed their trust in America — in favor of currying favor with the strongmen du jour. True love cuts no ice with the administration, even though a diplomacy based on cultures is more stable than treaties between strongmen. Like some hard-boiled detective it seems the only partners Obama finds interesting are those who’ve demonstrated a willingness to lie and cheat, nodt the plain, faithful Janes.
The Wall Street Journal’s Benoit Faucon reports that the world is waiting to see which way the sword cuts. Obama is pouring money on Iran. Will it be water or gasoline?
While I’m certain Richard was being rhetorical, Max Boot has already answered that question.
The world may be in its most dangerous position since Nikita Khrushchev took his measure of Jack Kennedy and figured it was worth a roll of the dice to install nuclear missiles in Cuba.