Middle East Fears Grow Due to Uncertain Iranian Deal
by Sarah Ann Haves
Saudi Arabia is threatening to take action against Iran because of what it perceives are the failing policies of the U.S. and its Western allies to contain Iran’s nuclear military program. The Arab state is also frustrated that Western powers are not interested in weakening Syrian President Bashar Assad’s power. Saudi leaders think this approach will only strengthen Iran’s grip on the Middle East through its Shiite sympathizers in Assad’s Alawite community.
This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has publicly come out against Western foreign policy initiatives in regard to Iran and Syria. But, it is the first time it has publicly threatened to contain Iran as it warns Western powers that their actions are risky and are already hurting Middle East stability. The Saudi’s feel the West’s appeasement policies are affecting the security of the region.
The diplomatic deal on November 24, 2013 between the P5+1 nations and Iran was meant to curb Iran’s nuclear aggression while easing some sanctions to help its economy. During the next six months, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are supposed to secure a final nuclear deal with Iran. U.S. and Israeli leaders met, recently, to discuss what measures in that final deal would be important to Israel in order to stop the threat of a nuclear armed Iran.
However, the recent interim agreement has not even been implemented yet. According to British officials, the details are still being worked out. Reportedly, this temporary stop-saving measure to curtail Iran’s ability to build a bomb has been labeled by Iranian leaders only as a “letter of intent,” not an “accord.” And, while Western nations are contemplating about whether Iran will keep its promises, Iranian centrifuges are spinning at full capacity.
Stiff sanctions may stay in place until IAEA inspectors see changes on the ground, but this is not an encouragement to Saudi Arabia or Israel. Their leaders view the current interim agreement as weak and compromising, and a futile attempt by Western diplomats to stop Iran.
The temporary deal not only leaves loopholes for Iran to continue to enrich uranium to weapons capability, it also allows the Islamic State to secure weapons grade plutonium. Iran could eventually fit nuclear warheads on to its long-range ballistic missiles, while at the same time, implementing the interim agreement. And, it could deploy other WMD’s in the region. In the past, Iran has threatened to close off oil traffic in the Gulf, a move that would create havoc for world economies and start a war. Additionally, Iran continues to use its terror proxies to threaten America’s allies in the region. These are just some of Iran’s attempts at asymmetrical warfare against Western interests that endangers the implementation of this current deal or any future deal negotiated with world powers.
The silver lining here is that Israel, Saudi Arabia, and most Gulf Arab countries, are reportedly, in secret negotiations to contain Iran, with or without the help of the United States.
U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (Rep.-Indiana) claims her primary concern is the national security interests of the United States. With that in mind, she shared her views about the Iranian deal with this writer in Washington.
“I am not comfortable with the deal. And, I think part of my job being on the House Armed Services Committee is to be vigilantly watching what’s happening with this; and in my view, to continue to pursue Iranian sanctions. Part of the problem with this deal, is that this really is not dependent upon verification. This is dependent upon many other factors. But, I think, just given the history of Iran and who they’ve been to us, I think that historically there’s been no trust there.”
Walorski, who doesn’t support U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent agreement with Iran, claims that many of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree with her and want the economic sanctions to increase.
The U.S. House of Representatives is closely following the recent decision of the U.S. Senate to stiffen the sanctions . The Iranians pulled out of talks on implementing the interim agreement because of this.
Walorski talked about America’s diplomatic interests in the region. She acknowledges that Egypt and Saudi Arabia want cover for their countries because of the Iranian threat. She believes that if sanctions do not remain in place, with verification and monitoring of the agreement, the balance of power in the Middle East will certainly change.
“When you are sitting on our side and looking at this and looking at the neighborhood, America has to do what America has to do to make sure our strategic interests are protected.”
A majority of Americans are war weary after engaging in conflicts both in Iraq and Afghanistan. They would rather the U.S. not get involved in another Middle East war, especially with Iran or Syria. But, if America has to be involved, they want to see Sunni Moslem extremists, linked to Al-Qaeda, removed from the conflict in Syria. It is the Al-Qaeda threat and not Syrian President Bashar Assad that concerns most U.S. citizens. Therefore, it is not surprising that, in recent days, the U.S. has moved against Sunni Islamic militants who have taken over a border crossing and arms depot in Syria near the Turkish border.
Washington and Moscow seem to be working together to allow Assad and his Alawite minority to have some sustained power in a future Syrian government. This new emphasis of U.S. forces cracking down on Sunni radicals in Syria, and not cracking down on Assad’s government forces, is in direct contradiction to the goals of Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf countries. A majority of the Arab States support the Sunni rebels in their struggle against Assad’s rule and his alliance with Iran. Saudi Arabia claims it can support moderate Arab fighters without getting involved with the more radical elements.
The Saudis also object to the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on Syrian soil fighting against Sunni rebels. They see this as another attempt by Iran to continue its expansionist policies including the financing of Shiite militias in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.
Though many Americans do not care what the interests are of Arab States in the Middle East, it would be to Obama’s advantage to explain his on-going policies to Arab leaders in the region. He should do this before there is more disillusionment on their part, and before a Middle East coalition is formed to strike Iran regardless of America’s timing or interests in the region.
Arab States, along with Israel, are losing patience with the diplomatic process and plan to do what it takes to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6
Ms. Haves is a news analyst, reporting on political, diplomatic, military and spiritual issues in Israel and the nations.
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