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Thursday, July 16, 2015

David Ignatius, "After the nuclear deal, how to contain Iran’s meddling in the Middle East": Is Obama Forcing Israel to Attack Iran?

"My point wasn't whether [Khamenei] would chant ["Death to America!"] but whether Iranians would chant "in unison" behind him. Answer: probably not."

- David Ignatius

Ignatius wrote these words to me in April. Needless to say, one week ago millions of Iranians were on the streets of Iran chanting "Death to America!" on al-Quds Days, immediately prior to the announcement of Iran's nuclear deal with the P5+1. Nice call, David!

In his latest and daftest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "After the nuclear deal, how to contain Iran’s meddling in the Middle East," David Ignatius tries to explain how the US should go about seeking to curtail Iranian "meddling" in the Middle East. Ignatius writes:

"The GOP noise machine blasting the deal obscures the real question ahead, which is how to contain Iran’s meddling in the region. The right strategy is to present Tehran with a sharp choice: Either join serious negotiations to end the regional wars in Syria and Yemen, or face the prospect of much stiffer, U.S.-led resistance.

. . . .

What will convince the hard-liners that it’s time to talk? Pressure, pressure, pressure . . . and then diplomacy. This crucial process will be much easier with the nuclear file closed."

"Meddling in the region"? In fact, we are talking about Iranian efforts to achieve hegemony throughout the Middle East, yet another item, in addition to the American hostage issue, that was ignored by Kerry and friends in Vienna.

"Pressure, pressure, pressure . . . and then diplomacy"? This flies in the face of the strategy employed by Obama in Vienna, which was "concessions, concessions, concessions . . . and then surrender." Regarding concessions, we now have Ben Rhodes claiming, "We never sought in this negotiation the capacity for so-called anytime, anywhere [inspections]" - he was lying, but why should that matter today? In addition we have Wendy Sherman informing us that the American hostages in Iran are "detainees" (Obama obviously knows he has a problem involving his abandonment of the hostages, as evidenced by his temper tantrum following the news conference question by Major Garrett), and we also have Sherman spuriously claiming "That phrase, ‘anytime, anywhere,’ is something that became popular rhetoric."

Bottom line: This is an administration which, according to WaPo's liberal columnist Dana Milbank, believes that America no longer has "the clout to enforce its will," and unbeknownst to Ignatius, Obama is not capable of confronting Iran or even its proxy regime in Syria.

Will Israel act unilaterally to eliminate Iran's nuclear facilities? It may have to. Note that Obama telephoned Netanyahu after announcement of the nuclear deal and offered to boost American military aid to Israel. Netanyahu refused. Why? Because acceptance of such aid would have been tantamount to agreement not to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. The question remains whether Netanyahu has the cojones  to undertake such a strike. Netanyahu is clearly no Begin, who ordered the attack on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981, but he is now under domestic pressure, given that many in Israel are blaming him for the catastrophic terms of the agreement with Iran.

Stay tuned . . .


  1. "...Either join serious negotiations to end the regional wars in Syria and Yemen, or face the prospect of much stiffer, U.S.-led resistance. ..."

    as if anyone in the USA was ever able to stop Iran's "meddling" in Lebanon since 1979.

    The only pressure the USA can wield is through the international banking system, which the Vienna team just gave away on the nuclear 'deal', and Samantha Power is today rushing to get UN green light to lift sanctions.

    Russia is the real power when it comes influencing the 21st century Persian Empire.

    Israelis should not blame Netanyahu. He is now being set up to be labeled uncooperative if he declines whatever military aid is being offered.

    In other news:
    Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) echoed those sentiments in his own remarks.

    "I am heartbroken by the tragic shootings that have taken place in my hometown," said Corker, who served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001 to 2005. "This is a difficult day for Tennesseans and our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this tragedy."
    SENATORS TO OBAMA: DELAY UN VOTE ON IRAN DEAL: Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chafed Thursday at the idea of President Obama seeking United Nations support for an Iran deal before Congress acts. ..."



    "Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former head of the kingdom's intelligence services and its veteran ambassador to Washington, has said Iran's nuclear deal will allow it to get an atomic bomb and "wreak havoc in the region".

    Writing in Lebanon's Daily Star on Thursday, Bandar, ..., said that Arabs were now turning away from the United States.

    "People in my region now are relying on God's will and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally," he said in the opinion piece.

    Privately, officials and Saudi media with close ties to the ruling family have railed against the deal as likely to embolden Iran to give more backing to regional militias.


    "...Gulf allies led by the Saudis have questioned whether Iran can be trusted to honour the accord and how it may use its newfound clout in a region ripped apart by sectarian conflicts. Many of the same concerns are being voiced by Israel — and by members of the US Congress who will have 60 days to review the agreement before deciding whether to vote against it.