You can’t ignore Putin

Source: You can’t ignore Putin – Israel Hayom

There is nothing surprising in the reports coming out of Washington that U.S. President Donald Trump is considering announcing that Iran has not lived up to its part of the nuclear deal it signed two years ago. Since he entered the White House in January, Trump has made no secret of his opinion that Iran presents a threat to American interests in the Middle East and to the security of U.S. friends in the region, namely Israel and the Persian Gulf states.

So the natural conclusion, which Trump repeats at every opportunity and using every possible platform, is that the nuclear deal with Tehran that the Obama administration promoted was a mistake, and it is a bad deal that failed to achieve its goal and far from checking Iran, merely encouraged it to continue along its merry way.

But in Washington, being Washington, the president can say whatever he wants, but the defense and foreign policy leadership might not agree. This is why Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford were quick to declare that the American interest was a binding one. According to them, the Iran deal actually stopped Tehran’s race toward nuclear weapons, and it is in the U.S.’s interests to uphold the deal, not cancel it.

The looming compromise is a presidential announcement that Iran has not fulfilled its part of the deal, without Trump taking any practical steps against Iran while working to try and convince the U.S.’ partners – Russia and the European nations – to step up pressure on Tehran.

It is hard to believe that Russia or the Europeans will be persuaded to support Washington. The Europeans see the deal as a victory and even as a vital move in restoring stability to the Middle East, whereas Russia has established a strategic partnership with Tehran, under which both powers managed to salvage the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as secure themselves footholds in Syria.

The entire Middle East can see and hear what is going on. Israel and the Arabs are listening to Trump’s aggressive condemnations of Tehran, but can’t ignore the fact that on the ground – in Iraq and Syria – Washington is de facto accepting the growing Iranian presence and not taking action to stop Iran.

It is no wonder that King Salman of Saudi Arabia rushed to make a first, historic visit to Moscow this week. The visit was mostly devoted to Saudi Arabia’s concerns about Iran. Like many other leaders in the region, such as President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Salman sees Russian President Vladimir Putin as a key player whose influence tips the scales in the region. If the U.S. has handed Syria and Iraq over to Moscow, maybe Saudi Arabia should seek assurances from the new boss, Putin. These might carry more weight than the aggressive but ultimately empty declarations from Washington.


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One Comment on “You can’t ignore Putin”

  1. joopklepzeiker Says:

    The reality is kicking in ?!?!

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