Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Obama's "Secret" Plan on Iran's Nuclear Weapons Issue and Why (Even the Saudis Tell You) It Will Fail

By Barry Rubin

The problem with the Obama administration is that it wants to pursue policies that may be acceptable to the day-dreaming cultural elite, but not to regimes that are full of cunning and deceit, like the Iranian regime, whose primary objectives do not include development, openness, humanitarian values, the well-being of its citizens, or even religious tolerance; rather, all that the Iranian regime – and the ideology behind it – cares about is expansion and infiltrating other countries.

Oops! I didn’t write that and there's no plagiarism intended ! These are the words of Tariq Alhomayed, editor-in-chief of al-Sharq al-Awsat in that Saudi-backed newspaper's  April 15 issue.  He once again illustrates a point I keep trying to make: anti-Islamist and moderate Arab states, intellectuals, and democratic opposition movements are just as upset with the Obama Administration as I am. And they are just as endangered by current U.S. policies as Israel is.

Alhomayed is horrified by reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she thinks there are signs that Iran is moderating on the nuclear weapons issue and is going to negotiate seriously.

Iran, Alhomayed continued, has been working for three decades to “infiltrate our region” and “divide Arab states from within.” As examples he cites Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon as well as the Palestinians. He even claims Tehran at times works with al-Qaida today, an accusation incidentally that U.S. intelligence reporting has confirms. So why, Alhomayed asks, would anyone trust Iran?

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It is astonishing to note the extent that the Obama Administration, which supposedly is so sensitive to the views of Arabs and Muslims, has ignored the concerns of America’s own Arab allies. And it is astounding to see how much that same administration, which is so obsessed with being popular among Arabs and Muslims, is mistrusted and ridiculed by so many Arabs, Turks, and Iranians who want to be allies of the United States, as well as being ridiculed and stepped on by America's enemies in the region.

Alhomayed is on target. The Washington Post has revealed what can be called President Barack Obama’s secret plan to solve the Iran nuclear crisis without a confrontation.  It might sound familiar.


Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press. Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center  and of his blog, Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.


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