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A bad deal with Iran is worse than war

Salah al-Mukhtar, a Jordanian columnist who writes for the Amman News, wrote the following reaction to the framework agreement reached between Iran and the major powers over its disputed nuclear program:

"This is a dangerous agreement, particularly for Saudi Arabia," Mr. al-Mukhtar wrote. "It provides Iran with what it needs most to pursue its wars and expansionism against the Arabs. Lifting the sanctions is America's way of backing the dangerous and direct wars against Arabs."

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Meanwhile, Nasser Ahmed Bin Ghaith of the United Arab Emirates writes that "the United States surely does not want to see a more powerful Iranian hegemony in the region, but at the same time, it does not appear to mind some kind of Iranian influence in the region."

Finally, consider what Hassan al-Barari wrote in Qatar's paper "Al-Sharq":

"Iran has tried to intervene in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria and it is seeing that it's not paying any price; on the contrary, there are attempts by the big powers to reach understandings with Iran. There is also a feeling in Tehran that the U.S. is avoiding a military confrontation with the Iranians and their proxies. Any kind of appeasement with Iran will only lead it to ask for more and probably meddle in the internal affairs of the Arab countries and increase its arrogance."

It seems that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not the only one concerned about Iran's apocalyptic plans. The entire area is very nervous about the true intent of the Iranians.

If Iran was the kind of international player who plays by the Queensbury Rules and elicited an aura of trust, such fears might be diminished. But that is not the case. Even as the discussions around Iran's nuclear capabilities have extended for years, Iran has it has directly or through its proxies taken over four Arab capitals, in Yemen, Syria, Libya and Lebanon.

As talks focused on limiting Iran's centrifuges, underground nuclear laboratories and uranium supplies, Iran has been allowed to extend its influence through powerful terrorist groups whose viciousness, mayhem and thirst for autocratic Islamist fundamentalist power knows no bounds.

And all this has happened while ISIS and its allies, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab in Yemen, Al-Nusra and other extremists are charting their own paths of destruction and murder of innocent civilians, creating huge population changes as innocents are forced to flee to other countries that lack the resources to care for them.

To his credit, President Barack Obama does realize the threat Iran poses to the entire region, if not to the world. But how much has he sacrificed in order to secure this deal? In his words, it was either this agreement or another Middle East war.

But that is exactly what the Middle East is experiencing right now — and not just one war, but plenty of them, all being fought simultaneously. What Middle East war is the president afraid of that hasn't already brought the entire region to a state of chaos and hopelessness?

Chaim Landau

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