Iran Deal Another Russian Diplomatic Victory over the U.S.

(Project Syndicate) Shlomo Avineri - Western statesmen are wrong to believe they have resolved the Iranian nuclear threat. Indeed, it is naive to imagine that a final agreement with Iran will be achieved in the coming six months: Iran's seasoned diplomats will make sure that does not happen. While the interim agreement may not be a replay of the Munich Agreement in 1938, it may have set the stage for an even more combustible future. President Obama may not be in office when the fire ignites, but if things do go terribly wrong, he may be remembered as another statesman who was blind to the consequences of his peaceful intentions. The main reason for pessimism stems from the interim agreement's wider geopolitical context, which has been ignored in favor of the regional dimension. In fact, the agreement, which alleviates much of the economic pressure on the Iranian regime, is a result of Russia's success in delaying international sanctions against Iran and its stubborn refusal to tighten them further. For the Kremlin, Iran's nuclear program is only one chapter in a campaign to reassert Russia's role as a great power. Indeed, the interim agreement should be viewed as another in a string of recent Russian diplomatic victories over the U.S. These include Ukraine's decision to reject an association agreement with the EU, President Assad remaining in power despite Obama's insistence that he leave, and Western-oriented groups in Egypt turning to Russia as a source of future military supplies. The writer, professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, served as director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2013-12-05 00:00:00

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