It appears that we are doomed to play out this drama to the very end. We pretended this deal wasn’t inevitable, we pretended we didn’t know all along what it was going to look like and now we’re going through the motions of rage. Netanyahu’s tantrum does nothing except expose just how powerlessness Israel is to affect the agreement now made with Iran. As the British foreign minister, in a rare moment of honesty remarked;
The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of a deal would have been welcomed in Tel Aviv. The answer of course is that Israel doesn’t want any deal with Iran”
Well of course we didn’t. Not least an agreement that will see them surge forward militarily, geographically and economically. As it is their proxies have been fighting us for decades. Writing in Slate Magazine Fred Kaplan sums up the situation rather bluntly with the following:
What Netanyahu and King Salman want Obama to do is to wage war against Iran—or, more to the point, to fight their wars against Iran for them. That is why they so virulently oppose U.S. diplomacy with Iran”
And so it comes down to the real bottom line. Obama is willing to ignore the fact that Iran sent Hezbollah forces to Iraq to kill US soldiers, he is willing to forget about the Iranian generals who engineered the killing of hundreds of US troops in Beirut in 1983 and he’s willing to ignore constant Iranian vilification of the USA and there’s nothing Israel can do about it.
Soon Iran will be flush with cash. The deal is a clear indication that the major world powers are supporting Iran in the fight against Islamic State. Where this leaves the so called Free Syrian Army that the USA and allies have supposedly been training and equipping is anyone’s guess. I doubt anyone will be rushing to join their ranks now. Furthermore the Shia militias currently rampaging through Iraq, ostensibly to fight Islamic State, are hardly likely to drop their weapons once that fight draws to its inevitable, bloody conclusion. The huge amounts of American weaponry equipping the Iraqi national army will be in Iran’s military soon enough.
Iran will dispense with the Islamic State in Syria and ensure a swath of what was once that country will be nominally controlled by their Allawite proxy Bashar Assad. Iraq will be left largely in the hands of whatever Shia militia gains Tehran’s favour and Hezbollah will be released from the fighting in Syria in the months to come, free to turn its full attention back to Israel.
The IDF, already facing Hezbollah fighters along the Lebanese border, will soon be facing Hezbollah or Iranian fighters along the length of the Syrian border. If it isn’t already. Hamas and Islamic Jihad will receive an influx of money and weaponry from the Iranians. There will Iranian inspired unrest in the West Bank as well as coming from Gaza.
This is our reality. Please notice there is no nuclear scenario in any of this. Tehran no longer needs the bomb. In five years time they’ll be buying whatever weapons they like legally, maybe even from the Americans. They don’t need the big, bad bomb to take over the Middle East they already have something much more important. The acquiescence of the world in allowing them to take it.
Unfortunately while it would be incredibly difficult for Israel to stop Iran from breaking out and gaining a nuclear weapon it is nigh impossible for Israel to prevent Iran from arming proxies with whatever they need to kill Israelis and Jews either in the Middle East or around the world. The rise of Hezbollah is proof enough of that.
If you’re looking for good news you’re not going to find it here. But here is where we are. Expecting the Americans to fight our war for us was never a realistic proposition. It’s time now to prepare to fight our own inevitable war, one against the spread of Iranian power and influence. The weapons to be used in this war are yet to be defined, the battlefield is as yet unknown. But it is a war we have put off for long enough and a fight we cannot escape from.
There simply isn’t enough room here for a powerful Iran and a powerful Israel if they really want their influence to spread they’re going to have to figure out a way to knock Israel out of the equation.
Whatever happens one thing is now clear, we’re on our own.