Will the Iran Deal Hold?

Finkel, David
Date Written:  2014-01-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2014
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20338

Finkel explores the underlying reasons behind Israel and Saudi Arabia's disapproval over the United States' nuclear weapon deal with Iran.



The U.S. partnership with Israel is definitely a component of the emerging strategy of regional understandings, but not the only one. In fact, above all, if the U.S. extraction from Afghanistan is to be accomplished without a total collapse of the Afghan state, and if Syria isn't to become a permanent wasteland with jihadist enclaves embedded inside, some kind of U.S.-Iranian d├ętente is going to be essential -- with Russia, Turkey and the European Union also on board.

That's the real backdrop of the next six months of negotiations with Iran, much of which will be occurring in secret back channels. It's about much more than Iran's nuclear program -- and that's exactly what's anathema to Israel's rightwing government, to the "pro-Israel" Zionist and Christian religious right U.S. lobby, and to the Saudi and other Gulf oil monarchies.

What they fear is Iran's conventional military power, its political outreach to the region's Shia populations, and the capacity of its intelligence services to compete with the rest in the tradecraft of murder, mayhem and malicious mischief.

For these forces, then, it's essential that any U.S. deal with Iran must fail. As the Roman Senator Cato the Elder famously proclaimed in every speech that "Carthage must be destroyed," the Netanyahu mantra holds that Iran must be destroyed. Netanyahu, of course, is not the imperial ruler but only a junior partner who cannot attack Iran alone -- and even if he may believe that Israel has the capacity to do so, his generals know better.

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