Gates: Don't Expect the Nuclear Agreement to Lead to a More Moderate Iran

(Business Insider) Armin Rosen - In an interview with Business Insider, former U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates, who spent 27 years in the CIA and then served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said he didn't believe the nuclear deal would have a moderating impact on Iranian behavior or lead Tehran to become a more responsible international actor. "The notion that betting that this regime is going to temper its behavior in the region because of this nuclear deal I think is mistaken. I think that will not happen." "This is a country that has a long history under the revolutionary government." He recalled his involvement in the "very first official U.S. meeting" with members of the Islamic Republic of Iran's government in Algiers just three days before the 1979 U.S. embassy seizure. "That began my now more than three-decades-long quest for the elusive Iranian moderate," Gates said. "My view is that the belief that Iran over time is going to evolve into a regular nation-state and abandon its theological revolutionary underpinnings, its aspirations in the region, or even its aspirations for nuclear weapons is unrealistic." "It seems to me that [the nuclear] agreement needs to be paralleled by a very aggressive American strategy of working with our allies, both Arab and Israeli, in the region to counter Iranian meddling, support of terrorism, and other activities." "We need the same kind of strong-minded strategy in dealing with Iran in its behavior in the region that other countries are looking for, and there's no reason for that to be contradictory to the" nuclear agreement.

2016-01-20 00:00:00

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