MUNICH AND IRAN

Many observers see striking similarities between the recent US-Iranian nuclear weapons agreement and the treaty between England and Germany in 1938? Who can forget Neville Chamberlain’s delusional declaration of “Peace in our time.” Students of history will recall that England’s appeasement of Nazi Germany failed miserably and exacerbated the climate that led to WWII. One can argue that this deal is worse. To be sure, England sold out Czechoslovakia, but Mr. Obama has sold out Israel, Saudi Arabia, and, perhaps, us as well. No wonder the Israelis are wary of Mr. Obama. Regarding Saudi Arabia, although we cannot always trust their motivations, technically they are our allies in the region, and they rely on us for security in return for their maintaining an ample supply of oil.

We gave up our strongest weapon against Iran – economic sanctions, which were having a significant effect, and got very little in return. Iran will still be able to continue its uranium enrichment program, although at a reduced level. Moreover, there appears to be ample opportunity for Iran to cheat, and does anybody doubt that they will? Supposedly, the deal is for 6 months after which time a final agreement is to be struck. Good luck with that.

The nuclear threat posed by Iran still remains. Iran has sworn to destroy Israel, and there is a good chance it will attempt to do so as soon as it is feels it is able. Israel knows this, and may, at some point decide to protect itself by launching a pre-emptive strike. A regional war would surely destabilize the Middle East and disrupt our oil supply.

CONCLUSION AND PREDICTION

Once again, Mr. Obama has been outsmarted by a foreign government, first the Russians, then the Chinese and now the Iranians. This has further degraded the level of respect for the US throughout the world. It seems that Mr. Obama is willing to appease everyone, except for the Republicans in Congress.

A cynic would say that Mr. Obama agreed to this deal because he needed a perceived victory to offset the Obamacare fiasco and his falling approval rating in the polls. In addition, he is no doubt counting on the apathy and disengagement of a large segment of voters who are unaware of the dangerous situation unfolding in Iran or don’t see how it will affect them. (I bet many Americans could not even find Iran on the map.) In this, he may be right.

My prediction is that, despite this deal, or maybe because of it, tensions in the region will ratchet up in the coming months. At some point, we will have to consider reinstating sanctions. Furthermore, we will have to reassure Israel to dissuade them from acting unilaterally. That should be an interesting conversation.

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