No. President Obama is not an idiot, and the deal that he just reached with Iran over its nuclear program will give the United States much more than it has given up, changing the face of the Middle East in the process. Perhaps, Europe will have in Iran another potential source of natural gas, breaking their reliance on Russia. Perhaps the strategic advantages for the U.S. and Europe are much larger that than whatever compromises they had to make in regard to Iranian ambitions.
Back in 2003, I was against plans for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and I made my objections known and clear in a variety of forums. But once it became clear that the invasion was proceeding irrespective of my stands and those of my colleagues, I wished it well and, wanting it to succeed, I tried in my capacity as an activist, no matter how small, marginal and limited, to help the democratization and state-building efforts through our work at the Tharwa Project. After all, the brunt of failure, as I argued then, will be borne mostly by the Iraqi people, and the prodemocracy activists working around the region, as later developments have clearly demonstrated. How can I wish for U.S. failure then?
According to Jo Biden, in his dinner remarks to participants in the Washington Institute’ Soref Symposium yesterday, Iran can enrich enough uranium to build several nukes within 2-3 months. The proposed deal with its leaders will prevent this development, he said, by rolling the clock back on some components, and allowing for inspections and for a breakout notice of at least one year.
Conflict in the Middle East will have consequences far beyond its borders, especially in Europe.
This is a very important article by Nicholas Blanford and can help us predict the future patterns of conflict in the region. The key quote in it for me, the one that explains how “geopolitical concerns” are understood by Iran’s leaders at this stage and, consequently, how other players are bound to understand them as swell, is this:
In February 2014, Mehdi Taeb, a senior Iranian cleric, underlined the importance of Syria to Iran in stark terms, saying it is a “strategic province for us.” “If the enemy attacks us and wants to take either Syria or [the Iranian province of] Khuzestan, the priority is to keep Syria,” he said. “If we keep Syria, we can get Khuzestan back too, but if we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.”