Iran Nuclear Deal Scrambles Regional Dynamics

(Commentary) Noah Rothman - In March, State Department veteran and former Obama adviser Frederic Hof bid farewell to public life with a stunning admission. He wrote that the Obama "administration sacrificed Syrian civilians and American credibility for the mistaken notion that Iran required appeasement in Syria as the price for a nuclear agreement." The opening up of the Iranian economy in a post-deal world, so the thinking went, would facilitate - even necessitate - domestic liberalization. Purely out of self-interest, the Mullahs would soon agree to pare back their support for destabilizing activities in the region. Yet all these ambitious objectives went unrealized in the years since the 2015 JCPOA's adoption. The Obama administration's effort to empower Iran and its Shiite proxies compelled the Sunni states to rethink their alliances, forcing longtime foes, Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, into a de facto pact. And just like that, the region's all-consuming Palestinian question faded into the background.

2018-05-22 00:00:00

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