Don’t let Israelis, Saudis derail accord with Iran

Israel and Saudi Arabia have denounced the tentative deal to freeze Iran’s nuclear program. Benjamin Netanyahu calls it a historic mistake. The Saudis, who financed Pakistan’s nuclear program and whose ruling royal family members supported Osama bin Laden, are deeply suspicious of the proposed agreement.

If there has been a historic mistake made by the United States, it has been to unconditionally support whatever Israel or Saudi Arabia demands. There is no logical reason for the world to stand by and have Israel dictate terms for a nuclear program ban while it sits on its own stockpile of nuclear weapons. If Netanyahu or the Saudis are allowed to upend this agreement, then the logical path for Iran is to see its nuclear program to its conclusion.

The Europeans, the Chinese or the Indians are not likely to take the kind of military action that would be required to eliminate the Iranian program because it is not in either their short-term or long-term interests. The United States will not act on its own thanks to the Iraq debacle, which has emptied the treasury and delivered less than nothing in return.

If Israel acts on its own with the notion that the United States will rush in to clean up its mess, Israel will be disappointed to find itself isolated and alone. Saudi Arabia’s desire to keep the sanctions in place is little more than a transparent move to continue to keep Iranian oil off the world market, which inflates the value of its own reserves, allowing the despotic rule of the Saudi royals to continue unabated. Conversely, the return of Iranian oil on the open market will drive the price down worldwide.

It is time to put a stop to allowing the parochial interests of two tiny nation states to supersede the need for peace in the region and the end of the global violence.

Ed Gentner