By now I’m sure that most of you are sick and tired of reading, seeing and hearing the expert political, military, and scientific analysis about the so-called “Iran Deal.”
Everyone from the White House spin-masters (Obama on Monday in Ethiopia: “99 percent of the world agrees it’s a good deal”), to talking heads on every media station, have opined as to the heavenly virtues or catastrophic negatives of it (mostly the latter).
My personal negative opinion was confirmed during John Kerry’s Congressional testimony, when new elements and “secret understandings” were disclosed, and was reinforced by statements from Iranian leaders after the July 14 announcement. Here are just a few:
- 1. The agreement is not, and never will be signed. This is why the U.S. rushed to get it “approved” by the United Nations Security Council, thus giving a purely verbal “understanding” some pretense of legitimacy.
- 2. The promise of “robust anytime, anywhere inspections” is gone.
- 3. Iran keeps its already enriched stockpiles and bomb parts.
- 4. All military facilities, including the trigger and bomb-assembly plant in Parchin, are off limits to the IAEA.
- 5. All facilities are off limits to Americans.
- 6. All centrifuges remain intact though a few thousand will be temporarily unplugged.
- 7. With Russia, China and the Europeans already signing huge deals with Iran accepting the soon-to-be-freed $150 billion as loan collateral, the sanctions no longer exist, and cannot be “snapped back.”
But the most shocking revelation was that Kerry apparently accepted the Iranian negotiators’ “solemn word and guarantee” that Iran: “Never had in the past, does not have in the present, or plans to have in the future…any nuclear weapons development or acquisition plan.”
Seriously? The whole unsigned verbal agreement is based on the “solemn word” of the Iranians?
As the Iranian leadership ecstatically tells mass rallies that chant “death to America and Israel,” just how easily they led on and hoodwinked a naïve president who was so desperate for a deal at any cost that he gave them everything they wanted without them conceding anything, regional leaders are listening with growing contempt, mistrust and lack of respect for the U.S.
The spin-dive of American status, prestige and credibility in the Middle East has created a leadership vacuum that is already being filled.
This brings me to the “Other Deal” …
- Polls show that a majority of Russians view the U.S. as their No. 1 enemy.
- At his recent confirmation hearing in Congress, to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joe Dunford said he believes Russia poses the biggest threat to U.S. national security, greater than ISIS.
- Two bloody civil wars are now raging in the Middle East:
- The war in Syria, where Iran supports President Assad and Saudi Arabia supports the rebels.
- The war in Yemen, where Iran supports the Shiite Houthis and Saudi Arabia supports the ousted Sunni regime.
According to Oded Granot, a highly respected Middle East and Arab-world analyst, over the past few weeks Vladimir Putin has been holding a series of talks with the Saudis, the Iranians and Assad of Syria, to end both these major conflicts. His proposal:
- Iran will stop supporting Assad of Syria and the Houthis in Yemen.
- The Saudis will stop supporting the rebels in Syria.
- Russia will guarantee the security of the Assad regime, the Sunni Yemenite government and the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
- Both cash-flush Saudi Arabia and Iran will purchase upgraded Russian weapons systems in long-term contracts.
According to Granot, the Saudis have already agreed to the deal and the Iranians have promised an answer “soon.” Israel is in the loop.
Whether this “Other Deal” succeeds fully or just partially, this is already a big win for Putin, who not only is inking large, multiyear cash contracts for Russia’s faltering military industries, but also is re-establishing Russia, and himself, as the main superpower in the region at the expense of the waning credibility of a perceived weak and toothless U.S., aka “The Enemy.”
And who knows … Putin may even “steal” the Nobel Peace Prize that Kerry has been reaching for since the failed “Peace Talks” restarted.
One thing is for sure — the flawed July 14 Iranian nuke deal did something that has not been done since after World War I — it has redrawn the Middle East map.
Agree or disagree, that’s my opinion.