Middle East Peace Will Come through Containment of the Iranian Threat

(BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Prof. Shmuel Sandler - The regional peace that has prevailed in Europe since World War II is supposedly because the countries there finally reached a state of calm and unity and decided to put an end to the bloodshed. The truth is quite different. It was the Soviet threat that forced Western European countries to unite under the American umbrella. The Middle East is now undergoing a similar process. Ethnic, religious, and interstate conflicts are dwarfed by the Iranian threat, which is headed by a Shiite militant religious leadership. The Arab states, most of which are Sunni, are anxiously watching a country with an imperial past that is close to developing nuclear weapons. At this stage, Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not convinced that the Jewish threat is worse than the Shiite. The Israeli attempt to prevent Iran's growing military buildup in Syria, as well as the exposure of the Iranian nuclear program by Prime Minister Netanyahu to the rest of the world, strengthens the image in the Arab capitals of Israeli determination to curb Iranian expansion. Similarly, the departure of the U.S. from the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement will most likely strengthen the readiness of the Sunni Arab states to remain in the anti-Iran coalition. The writer is a senior researcher at the BESA Center and the President of Emuna Ephrata College in Jerusalem.

2018-05-11 00:00:00

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