Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser | Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Iran is reaping the benefits; the West pays the price of its weakness; and we will all live with the consequences
What can we learn about the Iran nuclear deal a year after it was concluded? I must say that everything I was worried about came true. Iran has not changed one bit its radical Islamic and belligerent nature.
Iran took full advantage of the paralysis of the West in blocking its policies so that it could pursue its ballistic missiles and nuclear weaponization programs – two programs aimed at gaining the ability to hit not only Israel but Europe too, with nuclear warheads towards the end of the deal duration (only 10-15 years from now).
Iran significantly escalated its involvement in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, this time with Western blessing and not just acquiescence (President Obama once wondered why the Saudis can’t share the hegemony over the Middle East with Iran).
Iran continued its support for terror and its abuse of its citizens’ human rights.
Iran continued to insult the West and, of course, it reaped enormous cash windfalls and started to move towards economic deals with the West.
The West at the same time proved to be lacking any moral inhibitions in its quest for what seems (erroneously) as an opportunity to profit. The ongoing Iranian commitment to destroy Israel, to deny the Holocaust, to humiliate the West, and to ignore its commitments as per UN resolutions and the nuclear deal made no impression. Even after the White House admitted that it deliberately over-emphasized the positive elements of the deal and underestimated its flaws, and by that misled the American Congress on the meaning of the deal, nothing has happened. No notice was taken of the discovery of man-made enriched uranium in Parchin or of the ongoing efforts to purchase forbidden nuclear material in Germany.
The Lessons Are Very Simple
The Iranians and the rest of the people living in the Middle East understand that the West is weak. The Iranians, like other Radical Islamists (and Russia) take advantage of that. They proceed with their plans to take over the Middle East from the Pragmatists and threaten Israel. The Pragmatists in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan are scared. Those who are in immediate threat of living under Radical regimes, like the Syrians, are leaving the Middle East and immigrate to Europe (or more precisely to Germany). This huge wave started right after the conclusion of the deal because the deal was the major sign that the West had given up on them. Those who control their own fate are fighting back and look for Israeli cooperation. That is why Israel has strengthened its relations with the pragmatic Arab countries, especially Egypt.
Eventually, we shall all have to live with the consequences. Unless the pragmatists and Israel manage to prevent Iran from reaching its goals, Iran will have in 10-15 years the ability to equip itself with a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons and will not change its messianic nature. This was the exact motive of the deal from the Iranian point of view. Otherwise, the Iranians would not have accepted it. The West knew that very well, but to delay the danger a bit and to avoid any confrontation it was ready to “kick the can down the road” while paving for the Mullahs a guaranteed way to their dreams – and which are our nightmares.