Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Trump and Iran

Once more we see approaching a crucial decision from Mr. Trump. This time on the Iran nuclear deal. The clumsy display by Mr. Nethanyahu of documents claiming to prove Iranian intentions of building a bomb is obviously an attempt at convincing simple minded people in the  public and in the White House that the deal is broken by Teheran and should be abandoned. But the documents reveal nothing new. They only show the reason why the big powers worked so hard to reach the deal. Everybody including Mr. Macron and Ms. Merkel should also consider and remember that exactly because of the quasi impossibility in reaching the deal, other issues were excluded from the talks and were not part of the deal itself. To now demand more conditions from the Iranians will kill the deal. But exactly this is what the US president wants.

An Iranian acceptance of new terms is ruled out. Even negotiations would wipe out the moderate forces around the present Iranian president and thus radicalize the leadership to a definitely anti-Western stance.  Obviously also the abandonment by the US of the nuclear deal will strengthen the anti-Westerners in Teheran. Having this coincide with the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing this city as the capital of Israel could increase Iranian influence in the Middle East further. In segments of the Arab populations in countries under conservative Sunni governments allied to Saudi Arabia, the alliance with the Americans will look increasingly distasteful. The alliance between the Saudis and Israel even more. It looks s if the Sunni governments are abandoning Al Quds to the enemy.

We may see that these segments could view the Israelis and Americans as a bigger problem than Shiite Iran. Thus we could see strengthened and broader united anti-Western sentiments in the Middle East from Morocco to Pakistan. An opposition which could give rise to groups becoming a problem for conservative regimes allied to the Americans. Of course such groups would be supported by Iranian radicals like the Revolutionary Guard strengthened by a decision by Mr. Trump to drop the nuclear deal. The  Iranian support for Hamas show that a such Shia-Sunni collaboration  is not impossible.  Of course Iran is working to undermine its declared enemies around Riyadh and doing so not least by supporting groups opposing the weak conservative Sunni regimes. But such groups are not only products of Iranian interference. They are fueled by oppression and US policies supporting an irresponsible Israeli government and the Conservative regimes cooperating with Israel.

It is unwise for Western powers to feed anti-Western sentiments among Sunnis and Shias.  Of course the West should prefer that its opponents are allied to Iran rather than ISIS, but  further destabilization of the Middle East is not desirable. And here I have not mentioned consequences of possible renewed Iranian attempts at building a bomb in case Trump ends the deal. What is the next planned step? Bombings?

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