(JNi.media) “My hope is that building on this deal, we could continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region,” Obama said Wednesday at a White House press conference.
In fact, listening to the president’s message, one could conclude that the source of the problem has been not the Islamic Republic, but the Jewish State and the Saudi Kingdom.
“Israel has legitimate concerns about its security regarding Iran,” Obama said, but he added Prime Minister Netanyahu has yet to present a better option.
“Without a deal,” Obama argued, “there would be no limits to Iran’s nuclear program and Iran could move close to a nuclear bomb. Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East.”
Except that Netanyahu did offer an idea for a better deal — walk away from this one, don’t make more concessions, trust the fact that the Iranians need the sanctions lifted badly enough to agree to more useful terms.
Back in March, speaking only a 10-minutes walk away from where President Obama had his press conference Wednesday, Netanyahu said “Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.”
Netanyahu spoke mostly about strategy, not content, when he said, “Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.”
“And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran,” Netanyahu said to Obama, albeit indirectly—you have the power to make them need it even more.”
“My friends,” he said, “for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”
The deal is a “historic chance to pursue a safer and more secure world,” Obama said at his news conference. “It represents an opportunity that may not come again in our lifetime.”
That’s not so much reality as salesmanship — the one-time chance sales pitch. But what was the upside of taking seriously Iran’s threat to walk away from the table unless… — when it was clear Iran was the side that’s aching for economic relief?
In addition to attacking Israel and its prime minister, Obama on Wednesday also attacked America’s friends and allies of many decades in the region, who are easily as terrified as the Israelis are of the possibility of a nuclear Iran.
A point to consider: since the 1950s, Israel has had enough nuclear weapons to eliminate every living thing between Afghanistan and Morocco, and yet no Arab country was feeling the urge to enter a nuclear arms race because they feared an imminent attack from the direction of Tel Aviv. But as soon as the Mullahs in Tehran began to arm themselves, everyone in the region starts preparing for a nuclear confrontation?
Does it say anything about what Arab leaders think about the sanity of the supreme leader and his merry revolutionary guards?
In May, Obama invited America’s Gulf allies to a meeting in Camp David, to calm them down. Evidently, they were hysterical, as they still are. The pro-Saudi London paper Asharq Al Awsat wrote an editorial on Wednesday headlined: “Iran nuclear deal opens the gates of evil in the Middle East.”
“Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states can only welcome the nuclear deal, which in itself is supposed to close the gates of evil that Iran had opened in the region,” the editorial concluded. “However, the real concern is that the deal will open other gates of evil, gates which Iran mastered knocking at for years even while Western sanctions were still in place.”