Exclusive: In Official Washington’s latest detour from the real world, top pundits are depicting Iran as the chief troublemaker in the Mideast and saying the nuclear deal should hinge on Iranian “behavior.” But the real “behavior” problems come from Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., writes Robert Parry.
Iran has sought negotiations with the U.S. for two decades, but both Democratic and Republican administrations favored hostility demanded by Israel and Saudi Arabia. Finally, Iran found a track – sacrificing much of its nuclear program – to achieve a breakthrough, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.
Many Republicans will oppose the Iran-nuclear deal to discredit President Obama and some Democrats will succumb to pressure from Israel, but the ultimate choice is whether politics and pressure will overrule the world’s interest in constraining Iran’s nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Official Washington often exacerbates foreign conflicts by shoving them into misshapen narratives or treating them as good-guy-vs.-bad-guy morality plays, rather than political disputes that require mediation. The problem is particularly tricky with “terrorist” groups, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.
U.S. policy toward the Middle East carries an extraordinary burden of strategically outdated and politically overweight baggage, from oil deals with Saudi Arabia to emotional ties to Israel. What’s needed now is a thorough reexamination of what’s in the U.S. national interest, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
A successful nuclear deal with Iran could mean an expanded Iranian role in blocking Islamic State advances in Iraq and Syria, but the potential U.S.-Iran cooperation alarms Israel and Saudi Arabia – which may explain President Obama’s silence on the topic, examined by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.