New York Times.
The government official who has served in the Middle East, who spoke with Aleteia on condition of anonymity, spoke of the deal as a “gamble” for the United States.
“The administration is gambling that we have a state [Iran] where the revolutionary fervor of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 has petered out and that this agreement will … start putting in place the mechanisms for reestablishing Iran’s place within the community of nations, adhering to international law and rules of diplomatic conduct and so on,” he said. “That’s the great hope, and this agreement is based on a lot of hope. There is real disagreement among experts on Iran about whether it has moved awat from Islamic Revolution to modern administrative state. Modern administrative states sign agreements and stick to them, and revolutionary ones don’t.”
That sense of taking a gamble is viewed from a different perspective in the Middle East, he noted.
“What you’re hearing out of the Saudis and the Israelis is, ‘Yeah, it’s a gamble, but with our poker chips on the table, not your poker chips.’
The chance of Iran cheating to the point of obtaining a nuke that could one day hit the US is very remote, he said, but Israel’s fear of an Iran with the bomb has not diminished. The Sunni Gulf states, as has been widely noted, also fear the prospect of a nuclearized Shi’ite Iran.
“One thing that is baffling: if the administration believes this is such a good deal, why would they be talking about enhancing the delivery of ballistic missiles systems to the Gulf Arab countries and Saudi Arabia?” said the anonymous government official. “Why do they need those? They don’t need them unless they are facing a threat from Iran.”
He noted that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hope that drawing Iran back into the community of nations will “open up all sorts of possibilities for ending strife in the Middle East.”
“The irony of that is that right now there are two causes of strife in the Middle East: one is ISIS, and the other is the Iranians and what mischief they have gotten into in Iraq and their continued support for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad,” he said. “He really was close to falling a couple of years ago, but the Iranians the the Russians poured in all sorts of weapons and support, and that saved him, and he’s been able to recoup most of his losses. It’s a stalemate now in Syria.”
Iran’s apparent hope to extend its influence across the region—some see a developing "Shia Crescent" wending through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, with its western tip hovering perilously close over Israel—may be boosted by the infusion of cash that comes with the implementation of the nuclear deal. Iran is poised to reap billions of dollars in freed-up assets and trade benefits, and even the US National Security Advisor Susan Rice has admitted that much of that money will go toward military use and support of terrorist activities.
Rice said in an interview on CNN this week: “We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we’ve seen in the region up until now."