An American About-Face, into the Arms of Iran

(Israel Hayom) Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror - During my visit to the U.S. two weeks ago I heard from several people that senior State Department officials were trying to sell Washington on the idea that a nuclear agreement with Iran will contribute to regional stability in the Middle East, and that future relations between Iran and the U.S. will advance U.S. interests; an American U-turn, heading toward a special relationship with Iran. If this relationship materializes, it is clear the U.S. would be jeopardizing Israel's security for the sake of a sudden experimental partnership with a country that openly declares its intention to harm and even destroy Israel. None of the people I spoke with mentioned the White House or the president as the ones promoting the idea. If the rumor is indeed true, this perception is based on a misunderstanding of Iran's intentions and its way of thinking about the Muslim world and its place in it. This misunderstanding stems from ignoring the Islamic republic's political culture, its negotiation methods and its willingness to peddle illusions to its adversary (as a religious imperative). This miscalculation is compounded by the inexplicable and historically unfounded optimism over the ability of any type of deal to change the Iranian attitude. There are quite a few people in the U.S. who think a deal, in and of itself, is more important than its substance. This is a completely illogical approach. The decision to alter the course with Iran means that America is effectively choosing a side in favor of the Shiite minority, scaring the Sunni majority. By doing so, the Americans are encouraging the Shiites, the most dynamically negative force in the Middle East, a force which reaches far and wide via its terrorist group proxies. If the rumor about the new U.S. approach toward Iran is true, then just as Henry Kissinger predicted recently, the important Sunni states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey) will begin a nuclear arms race because they do not believe in stability predicated upon a Shiite country that, with America's support, will become the most influential power in the region. The writer is a former Israeli national security advisor.

2015-02-23 00:00:00

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