Instead of an emergent international order advancing peace, nuclear non-proliferation, human-rights and democracy throughout the Middle-East, this looks just as much like an American withdrawal from the region, a resultant power vacuum with a few weak peace-deals attached, and a serious lack of overall strategy. The old Moscow-Damascus-Tehran alliance is flaring up.
From The L.A. Times: ‘New Iran Agreement Includes Secret Side Deal, Tehran Official Says:
‘The new agreement, announced over the weekend, sets out a timetable for how Iran and the six nations, led by the United States, will implement a deal reached in November that is aimed at restraining Iran’s nuclear ambition.’
David Keyes At The Daily Beast: ‘How Iran, Putin & Assad Outwitted America‘
‘Zarif’s mission to Moscow quells any lingering hopes that Russia can be seduced away from Syria or Iran. Putin has made a simple calculation: Assad will protect his interests better than anyone. Russia, in turn, has made it clear that it will prop up Syria’s tyrant and their Iranian backers at almost any cost. ‘
Claudia Rosett At PJ Media: ‘Instructing Iran In Terrorist Etiquette‘
‘Iran’s senior officials suffer from no such delicacy toward the U.S. On Tuesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani gloated on Twitter that in the recent Geneva agreement, “world powers surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.” Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator at the Geneva talks, Javad Zarif, made a point while visiting Lebanon of goingto lay a wreath on the grave of assassinated Hezbollah terrorist kingpin Imad Mugniyah. Lest anyone miss the moment, Zarif did this before a bevy of photographers, ensuring that his thumb-in-the-eye to the U.S. would make news.’
A quote from this piece over at the Atlantic: From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s Work
“Although the professional soldier accepts the reality of never-ending and limited conflict, “the liberal tendency,” Huntington explained, is “to absolutize and dichotomize war and peace.” Liberals will most readily support a war if they can turn it into a crusade for advancing humanistic ideals. That is why, he wrote, liberals seek to reduce the defense budget even as they periodically demand an adventurous foreign policy.”
-Dexter Filkins on Iran here.
-Scowcroft and Brzezinski may be offering plans: ‘George Shultz & Henry Kissinger At The Hoover Institution: ‘What A Final Iran Deal Must Do’