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With Nuke Deal in Hand, Obama Urged to Reassert US Presence in Mideast

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 3:12 pm (UTC-4)
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What Should Obama Do Next on Iran?

Nicolas Burns – The New York Times

Mr. Obama should not be content to have his veto sustained in Congress. His more important aim, looking beyond the vote, is to win the long-term struggle with Iran for power in the Middle East….

A new, bipartisan policy should include the following elements. First, Mr. Obama could reaffirm President Jimmy Carter’s doctrine from the 1970s that the United States will defend its vital interests in the security of the Persian Gulf region against any aggressor. This would bolster the recent efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry to strengthen the defense of Saudi Arabia and the gulf states.

Second, Mr. Obama could state in unmistakably clear terms that the United States would use military force to strike Iran should it violate the nuclear agreement and drive toward a nuclear weapon.

Secretary of State John Kerry on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:


Are There Any Reasons for Hope in the Middle East? Maybe.

Henri J. Barkey and David F. Gordon – The Woodrow Wilson Center

In the aftermath of the Iran nuclear agreement, there was a broad expectation, both in the region and beyond, that sectarian tensions and conflict would intensify and deepen the proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia….

What we are seeing on the ground, however, looks quite different. There is an increasing possibility for new geopolitical alignments throughout the region.

The confluence of the growing fear in both Saudi Arabia and Iran of the threat posed by Islamic State; the weakening of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policy shift to cooperate with the United States in Syria, and Moscow’s and Washington’s growing shared interests in steering the Saudi-Iran rivalry onto a less escalatory path, while also creating a broad coalition against Islamic State, is creating real political fluidity….

It is still too early to tell what role Iran intends to play…. But some Western leaders, particularly Obama, clearly hoped that a successful conclusion of the talks might create space for a broader diplomacy.

Doubts over the deal were expressed Wednesday in a new report written by the Iran Strategy Council (commissioned by the Jewish Institute of National Security), co-chaired by retired General James Conway, USMC and retired General Charles Wald, USAF.

The final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has potentially grave strategic implications that directly threaten to undermine the national security of the United States and our closest regional allies. By allowing Iran to become a nuclear threshold state and enabling it to become more powerful and expand its influence and destabilizing activities – across the Middle East and possibly directly threatening the U.S. homeland – the JCPOA will place the United States in far worse position to prevent a nuclear Iran


An image of Iranian leaders is projected on a giant screen  during a rally apposing the nuclear deal with Iran in New York's Times Square, July 22, 2015. (Reuters)

An image of Iranian leaders is projected on a giant screen during a rally apposing the nuclear deal with Iran in New York’s Times Square, July 22, 2015. (Reuters)



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