The day after the deal

The day after the deal, Israel Hayom, Prof. Eyal Zisser, August 9, 2015

(Please see also, Russia and US woo Saudis to help save Assad – albeit putting Israel and Jordan in danger from S. Syria.– DM)

[Soleimani] wanted Russia and Iran to agree on the division of the Middle East in a way that would serve their clients in the region (among them, Assad) and check their joint enemies (the Islamic State). After figuring that out, they probably moved on to the next topic: how to marginalize America in the region. As a means to both ends, Russia will continue to serve as Assad’s protector (despite his many crimes), all the while providing Iran with international backing. But above all it will send arms to Iran, to the Syrian regime, and if needed, to Hezbollah.

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Over the weekend it transpired that Maj. Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, had visited Moscow two weeks ago and met with President Vladimir Putin. The Quds Force, in case you forgot, is in charge of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ clandestine operations (including terrorism). The Quds Force is responsible for providing aid to Hezbollah and Hamas as well as to Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. In light of his direct involvement in terrorism, the international community imposed sanctions on Soleimani, including travel restrictions.

Only last week, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry vowed that the U.S. will make sure the sanctions on Soleimani would stay in effect and that the Obama administration would counter Iran’s efforts to destabilize the Middle East. But no one takes Kerry seriously anymore. While Kerry continues to engage Iran’s unimportant Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the real wheeling and dealing is actually in Moscow.

Soleimani did not go to Moscow because he had tickets to the Bolshoi. Rather, he arrived because he wanted to discuss “the day after the nuclear deal” with Putin. Namely, he wanted Russia and Iran to agree on the division of the Middle East in a way that would serve their clients in the region (among them, Assad) and check their joint enemies (the Islamic State). After figuring that out, they probably moved on to the next topic: how to marginalize America in the region. As a means to both ends, Russia will continue to serve as Assad’s protector (despite his many crimes), all the while providing Iran with international backing. But above all it will send arms to Iran, to the Syrian regime, and if needed, to Hezbollah.

The Russians, unlike the Iranians, don’t consider Israel to be an enemy state. But as a famous Russian official once said: “When you chop wood, chips fly.” Israel has become the latest chip — the collateral damage. Soleimani’s visit is just the tip of iceberg. It shed light on the not-so-secret deals that are being negotiated in the wake of the “Vienna nuclear agreement.” Europe, as usual, is focused on profit and its corporate executives are already traveling in droves to Tehran to ink deals. There are also political deals Iran wants to secure, which are as important for Tehran. Their price, however, will be measured in blood rather than in euros or dollars.

No one in the Middle East, it seems, is keen on parsing each and every provision in the nuclear deal. Nor is there an attempt to see whether, in the grand scheme of things, it is will have been a worthwhile endeavor some 10 or 15 years from now, when its key elements expire. In this region, what counts is the way this agreement is perceived here and now — and what really matters to people is the way it is portrayed in the media. Under that criteria, Iran is the victor and America is the vanquished, because it caved to Iran. The deal, according to how the media has portrayed it, is a crushing political blow to Israel and the moderate Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia.

This knockout victory will likely produce a new Iranian-American partnership. At the very least, the two nations will mend fences. This will alienate many of Washington’s clients, who will have to look elsewhere for a more reliable ally. Egypt and the Saudis have already realized this and turned to Russia for aid and arms, figuring it would be more trustworthy than the “staff of this broken reed” (Isaiah 36:6).

Saudi Arabia is reportedly sending feelers to see if there is a deal to be had with Russia and Iran. Under the terms of the proposed deal, Saudi Arabia would withhold aid to the Syrian rebels if Iran ends its rogue presence in the state. Such a deal would secure Assad a victory over the insurgents, or a least ensure his regime survives.

The ongoing developments have caused panic, but not over the rising clout of Iran and Russia. The White House, it seems, is fretting over the possibility that Congress may vote against the Iran deal and further tarnish Obama’s image.

Explore posts in the same categories: Arab nations, Assad, Diplomacy, Foreign policy, Gulf states, Hezbollah, Imperialism, Iran scam, Iranian proxies, Islamic State, Israel, Jordan, Middle East, Obama, Obama's America, Obama's legacy, P5+1, Putin, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Soleimani, Syria war

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