Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

The talk about an imminent revival of the nuclear deal between Iran and the Biden administration and other Western countries has raised serious concerns among many Arabs. They state that they are especially worried about the billions of dollars that Iran’s mullahs will receive once the deal is done. The Arabs say they have no doubt that the money would be used by the mullahs to promote more terrorism and violence and expand Tehran’s terrorist proxies in the Middle East, including Hezbollah, the Houthis, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and various militias in Iraq.

“The Arabs will be shocked when the details of the new nuclear deal are published,” wrote Sayed Zahra, deputy editor of Bahrain’s Akhbar Al-Khaleej.


He noted that before the state of shock engulfs the Arabs, they need to take in mind a number of facts that are related to the impending nuclear deal.

“First, the agreement was made primarily at the insistence of the Biden administration, which has been desperate to reach it,” Zahra wrote.

“The Biden administration thinks that it is in dire need of the agreement today to present it as one of its great accomplishments. Second, it was the US, not Iran, that initiated the concessions to facilitate reaching the agreement. A few days ago, US officials announced that it was Iran, not America, that had given up core demands. They lie. Iran has not given up on anything essential. On the contrary, Iran has obtained the essential demands it wants. Third, the most dangerous concession made by the US was to waive the inclusion of Iran’s expansionist terrorist role in the region, its threats to the security and stability of Arab countries, the terrorist subversive role that Iran’s proxy militias play in the Arab countries, and the issue of the Iranian missile program. Fourth, the agreement will provide huge financial resources to the Iranian regime as a result of the lifting of sanctions and the rush of Western countries to deal with it.”

Zahra said that the Arabs also need to take into consideration that, with a green light from the Biden administration, the agreement would give a very big impetus for the Iranian regime to escalate its terrorist aggression against the Arab countries and to redouble its funding to the militias affiliated with it to advance its agenda of undermining the security and stability of these countries.

He also warned that the agreement would mark the beginning of a new era of complete American disregard for the interests of the Arab countries.

“These are the basic facts that we must be aware of before we are shocked,” Zahra added. “Based on these facts, the Arab countries are supposed to decide what they will do and how they will deal with the coming danger.”

Earlier, echoing the sentiments of many other Arab political analysts and columnists, he wrote that Biden has decided “to bow” to Iran.

“Why did he do this even though he is fully aware of Arab fears and demands, which he heard directly, firmly and clearly during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia from all Arab leaders?”

“It is understood that Biden wants to get the nuclear deal signed in light of his and his administration’s declining popularity and the upcoming mid-term elections to Congress that the Democrats fear losing. In other words, he wants to present the new nuclear deal as a diplomatic victory achieved by his administration.”

Zahra pointed out that Biden was basically following in the footsteps of former President Barack Obama, who struck the 2015 deal with the mullahs.

“The truth is that this is an American strategic choice, and it was not born today,’ Zahra argued. “Rather, it was decided years ago, specifically since former US President Obama was in power. Biden is following his path and is fully convinced of this option. Obama is the one who decided that America’s strategic interest is to be in collusion with Iran and in total disregard of the Arabs’ fears and demands. He [Obama] did not hide his hatred of Arabs and his admiration for Iran. What Biden is doing today is following the same path, with full conviction on his part.”

Syrian author Ibrahim Allush commented on the news about an imminent deal by expressing fear that his country would pay a heavy price.

Allush pointed out that the Syrians have been hit harder by the Iranians than anyone else. Referring to the presence of Iranian security officials and Iranian-backed militiamen in his country, Allush wrote:

“The Syrians are today hungry and displaced. Syria has been taken hostage by a regime that is affiliated with the Iranians and Russians. The Iranians and their allies are spreading the illusion of liberation and resistance, while in fact they spread terrorism. The Iranian regime, with its practices, does not differ from the Taliban regime or from Islamic State (ISIS). Terrorism, destabilization, and domination of people are almost the only goals of such regimes.”

Allush warned that a return to the nuclear deal would mean “refinancing the mullahs’ regime and its militias with billions of dollars annually.”

“The signing of the Iranian nuclear agreement may be a partial solution to the oil and gas crises caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against the Ukrainian people. But it will not be a solution that brings peace to Syria. Iran, which incites terrorism in the region, will be happy with the return of its generous funding, and we Syrians will suffer. We oppose this agreement, despite all our difficult circumstances, because it will bring more money to the Assad regime and its intelligence system, as well as to the Iranian militias that participate with it in committing crimes against the Syrians.”

Lebanese journalist Abdul Wahab Badrakhan suggested that instead of paying attention to the mullahs’ policies and actions in the region, the Biden administration chose to appease Iran so that it could bargain with it on the nuclear issue.

“America aspired to some partnership with Tehran in confronting China, knowing that it would not happen… It bet on Tehran’s ‘neutrality’ in the Ukraine war, only to be surprised by the drone deals with Russia. The US ignored the concerns of the Gulf states and other Arab countries. Washington has been very late in holding Iran accountable, or at least trying to hold it accountable for the systematic sabotage that it has practiced and is practicing in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza. This is the largest international sabotage operation that the Security Council has not been able to consider. None of the Security Council resolutions related to the region’s crises mentions Iran, even though its role is essential in tampering with the four countries and destroying their institutions.”

Saudi political analyst Abdullah Bin Bijad Al-Otaibi wrote that the fears of the Arab countries regarding the nuclear agreement are completely valid.

These fears, Al-Otaibi noted, are not limited to Iran’s nuclear weapon, but also to interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries and the spread of fundamentalist and terrorist militias and organizations. The Arabs also worried about the mullahs’ efforts to export their terrorism to other countries.

“Once the bad nuclear agreement is signed, Iran will get billions of dollars and the region will witness renewed chaos, instability and terrorism… The Iranian threat will not only be directed towards the countries of the region, but will move to all countries of the world, including Western ones. Many peoples will suffer the consequences of this. Including the Western peoples, without a doubt.”

Egyptian author Emil Amin also expressed concern that the mullahs would use the billions of dollars they are about to receive under the new deal to support their terrorist militias and proxies. “Iran will not give up its dream of acquiring nuclear weapons,” Amin wrote.

“It has come a long way and is close to the finish line. President Biden’s administration is trying to create an image in the eyes of the Americans that Iran’s return to the nuclear agreement will bring it under control. Washington appears to be in a weak and precarious position, especially in light of the absence of an armed option. In any event, Iranian intentions remain unchanged with or without an agreement, and the countries of the region must evaluate the situation in a way that suits their combined national security capabilities.”

Saudi commentator Mashar Al-Thaydi wrote that the Gulf states and other Arab countries, including Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, are directly concerned about the future once a deal is reached with Iran. Noting that the mullahs have long been playing a “negative role” in the internal affairs of these Arab countries, Al-Thaydi asked:

“For how long will we be watching this absurd play between the West and Iran, while we, Iran’s neighbors, are concerned with what will happen with this [Iranian] regime? Obama gave this regime money and legitimacy in exchange for so-called guarantees to slow down, but not prevent, the non-peaceful nuclear program. Today, Biden, and more correctly, the former Obama team, are trying to reassure those who are supposed to be Washington’s allies in the region. But if these billions flow into the coffers of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force, how will Washington guarantee the security of these countries?”

Lebanese columnist Rafik Khoury warned that the Biden administration is “repeating non-stop self-deception” as the mullahs themselves continue to practice deception.

“The administration of President Joe Biden is repeating the failed experiment that was also already tested by the administration of Barack Obama… It is acting on the basis that returning to the nuclear agreement achieves three goals: [supposedly] to prevent Iran from becoming a military nuclear power, to transform the [Iranian] regime to moderation by engaging with it, and the perception that the improvement of the economic situation in Iran strengthens the reformists.”

According to Khoury, as long as the return to the agreement is confined to the nuclear file and nothing else, “the scenario as drawn by the mullahs and their agents in the region is worrying…. Tehran gets everything it wants, and completes everything it does.”

“There will be no restriction on Iran’s ballistic missile program, no limit to Iranian influence in the region, no halt to its destabilizing behavior, no exit from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and no retreat from arming the Houthis in Yemen and providing them with more missiles and drones that are being launched at civilian targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Will Washington abandon the vital American interests as well as the interests of its allies and friends? The difficult test for America and its commitments to its allies and friends in the Middle East begins immediately after the signing of the nuclear agreement. The Arab countries, whose confidence in the Americans has declined, will face another test: confronting Iranian expansion, regardless of what America does.”

The closer that the Biden administration moves towards the mullahs in Tehran, the more the US loses credibility in the Arab world. The Arabs seem to have lost confidence in the Biden administration, which is why they are now talking about the need to take matters into their own hands and try to stop Iran from endangering their security and stability. The Arabs also appear convinced that that pouring billions of dollars on the mullahs will eventually bring terrorism and violence to the US and the other Western powers involved in the new deal, if not a major war.

{Reposted from the Gatestone Institute site}


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Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.