Obama’s historical mistake has dire repercussions

Published: 19 January 2016
Obama’s historical mistake has dire repercussions
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The deed has been done. The #International_Atomic_Energy_Agency (IAEA) has confirmed #Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the #nuclear_deal, the key to the lifting of anti-Iranian sanctions.

#Iran’s parliamentarians are hugging one another; most US Republican lawmakers are highly sceptical if not downright enraged at what they perceive to be a deal with the devil. President Hassan #Rouhani says #Iran “has opened a new chapter” in respect to its relationship with the world while hailing the sanctions-lifting “a glorious victory”.

It certainly is a victory for #Iran, especially when the IAEA has stated its nuclear weapons ambitions were shelved nine years ago. Not only does it stand to receive its frozen assets worth in the region of $100bn, global corporations are queuing to negotiate lucrative deals including major oil giants. Moreover, word has it that #Iran has been stockpiling oil to flood the market; this at a time when there is a glut that has driven down prices.

President Barack #Obama has sought to silence the deal’s critics asserting #Iran’s implementation of the agreement “marks a fundamental shift in circumstances with respect to #Iran’s nuclear program”. This is nothing but a red herring. Vice President #Joe_Biden and Secretary of State #John_Kerry were pushing for a US-Iranian detente long before they took office.

In fact, I predicted this dark day – so detrimental to #Arab interests and security – would come years ago. At its core, this has little to do with nuclear weapons and all to do with facilitating #Iran becoming a regional power in league with #Washington to exert control over #Arab_States, in particular, #Saudi_Arabia and Gulf States, and to rebalance regional power in #America’s favour.

Iranian-born American academic and author Vali Nasr warned of an upcoming showdown between #Iran and #Saudi_Arabia in his book “The Shi’a Revival” claiming that #Iran’s growing strength and reach makes it a preferred US partner because it is too strong to destroy and should be brought onside with engagement rather than confrontation.

#Obama’s former Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel was quoted saying, “the #United_States must find a new regional diplomatic strategy to deal with #Iran that integrates our regional allies, military power and economic leverage.”

I am convinced there is much more to this narrow deal than meets the eye. I transmitted my concerns of a potential ‘Grand Bargain’ in a report to Gulf leaderships during June 2013 and I have laid out my fears in numerous columns since. If I was concerned then, I am deeply disturbed now. This is one time I hate to be right.

However, faced with this fait accompli the #Arab world must join forces to shore up its defences. Thankfully, there are concrete moves in that direction. #Saudi_Arabia has woken up to the dangers following #Iran’s direct interference in its internal affairs not to mention its use of proxies in #Syria, #Bahrain and #Yemen. I am somewhat relieved that a Joint #Arab Force is on the table and a Muslim anti-terrorism coalition has been formed with the participation of 34 predominately Muslim states.

Sad to say that among our #GCC sister nations there are those enjoying close relationships with #Iran in a less than transparent way. We know that behind the scenes they have been furthering Iranian interests during its years of virtual isolation. Now they are no longer needed, it is only a matter of time before #Iran turns on them too. They need to be cautioned by the #GCC and if they continue their pro-Iranian policies, then we have no choice but to build a Trump-style wall between us and them.

Most importantly, #Saudi_Arabia and Gulf States can no longer rely on mere verbal assurances from their US ally purporting to be their protector when President #Obama and his Secretary of State celebrate the release of billions of dollars to the biggest supporter of terrorism in our times. #Obama has admitted that there are no guarantees that a portion of those billions will not go to advance #Iran’s ideological and territorial ambitions within the region.

#Hezbollah, which the US has generously removed from its terrorist blacklist, will continue its killing spree in #Syria and #Iraq with impunity and will be free to transform #Lebanon into an Iranian province. #Iran’s efforts to grab control of #Yemen and #Bahrain, upon which it has made successive territorial claims, will be strengthened by mega sums of cash. #Obama is aware the money will be spent on terrorism and the further destabilisation of the #Middle_East and in particular the Gulf, but has ignored the concerns of #America’s friends in his rush to seal a narrow agreement which fails to take #Iran’s crimes into account.

#Obama has tried to placate #GCC countries with an invitation to heads of state to meet with him at his #Camp_David retreat. Just last week, US Secretary of State #John_Kerry met with Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs #Adel_al-Jubeir to persuade him there is nothing to worry about, which according to press reports he is not buying especially since the #Obama administration expressed its “dismay” over the execution of convicted terrorist #Nimr_al-Nimr while seeming less dismayed over the torching of the Kingdom’s embassy and consulate by rabble suspected of being in the regime’s pay.

Fact is the US must put its money where its mouth is. Sweet words partnered with yet more offers of weapons sales will not provide us with a good night’s sleep. Basically, our governments must receive clarification from Mr #Obama whether the US is with us or with #Iran. We must demand that the #White_House proves it genuinely has our interests at heart by leaning on #Tehran to comply with the following measures:

  • The official severing of #Iran’s relationship with #Hezbollah, which is strangling #Lebanon and has chosen the wrong sides in both #Syria and #Iraq.
  • An end to #Iran’s arming and financial support of Shiite #Houthis in #Yemen.
  • A commitment from #Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali #Khamenei to dismantle its terrorist cells within Gulf States and to quit their infiltration with spies.
  • #Tehran’s agreement to negotiate the independence of #Arabistan, renamed Khuzestan following #Iran’s seizure, so that the #Ahwazi #Arab population reduced to third-class citizens can regain their independence, their natural resources and their dignity.
  • #Iran’s acceptance that the body of water it refers to as the “Persian Gulf” is henceforth known as “the #Arabian_Gulf” given that 85 per cent of the population of countries surrounding the Gulf (including #Ahwazi Arabs) are #Arab.

I must point out that I have nothing against the Iranian people of whatever faith or sect. They have all been oppressed socially, economically and politically since 1979 when the Ayatollah #Khomeini turned up to send the country back to the Middle Ages. Despite its wealth, 55 per cent of urban Iranians live under the poverty line. People there live in fear in a country where women are stoned, men hung from cranes in public places and even poets and songwriters are jailed and lashed.

Given that the US, that fought hard for the deal, is now #Iran’s prime benefactor, the #Obama administration should find ways to ensure the billions of dollars released are used to build the economy, improve infrastructure and create jobs and must tie any future rapprochement to an improvement in #Iran’s miserable #human_rights record

I look forward to the day when the Iranian people reject their fanatical regime and reclaim the freedoms and prosperity they enjoyed under the Shah. Only then should #Iran be welcomed into the community of nations – and in that event I will be celebrating too.

Comment (3)
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Added 07:32 January 22 2016
"They have all been oppressed socially, economically and politically since 1979 when the Ayatollah #Khomeini turned up to send the country back to the Middle Ages. Despite its wealth, 55 per cent of urban Iranians live under the poverty line. People there live in fear in a country where women are stoned, men hung from cranes in public places and even poets and songwriters are jailed and lashed." 1. Stoning and lashing is also enforced in the UAE 2. Stoning and lashing are mandatory Islamic punishments for certain crimes. Is the author aware of this?
Added 01:09 January 20 2016
I do share the same concern, it's more obvious, Day to day the US interest and the way forward it God in the region, still my farther concerns is the countermeasures GCC has to prepare for. I believe we are slow for the worst scenarios. It was good to read ,..thanks
Added 11:15 January 20 2016
A good reading despite political scores on different sides diverted; however with an optimsitc conclusion of the article with good wishes to the ultimate beneficiaries who are local Iranian people.