By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Irrespective of Western attempts to portray Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Jordan and Egypt as supporters of the Iran nuclear deal, leaders of these countries, and especially the House of Saud, consider the accord a colossal, lethal threat, resulting from a reckless, short-sighted and self-destructive policy, which will initially plague the Arab World, and subsequently the Western World, including the USA, "the Great Satan" according to the Ayatollahs.
While Saudi leaders are restrained in their official reaction to the Iran nuclear agreement, they voice their authentic concerns and assessments via the House of Saud-owned media, which have traditionally served as a convenient venue, providing the element of deniability, sparing diplomatic inconvenience.
During a recent visit to Capitol Hill, I was told by legislators in both chambers, on both sides of the aisle: "While Israel is concerned about Iran's nuclearization, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are panicky."
The House of Saud-appointed General Manager of Al-Arabiya TV, and former editor-in-chief of the intellectual Saudi daily, A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, dismissed Secretary Kerry's assertion that "Once fully implemented, the Iran deal will contribute to the region's long-term security." According to the daily voice of the Saudi King, the Ayatollahs regime "is like a monster that was tied to a tree and has been set loose. We are on a threshold of a bloody era…. expecting the worst-case scenario…. Teheran does not intend to drop its aims of regional dominance and destabilizing neighboring Arab countries. The lifting of sanctions will facilitate the transfer of funds and the purchase and shipment of arms [to terror organizations]…. Teheran will become more dangerous."
The opinion page editor of A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Mshari Al-Zaydi highlights a constructive alternative to the current Iran nuclear deal: the preconditioning of any benefit to the Ayatollahs upon a drastic transformation of the nature of their regime. The confidant of the House of Saud stated: "The real problem lies in the nature of Iran's rulers and the money that will flood the coffers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. It will cause more strife in Arab countries…. Iran's constitution calls for funding and arming militias loyal to Iran within Arab and Muslim countries. Washington will soon realize the consequences of their Iranian adventure."
At this junction of an increasingly globalized world – and against the backdrop of the Ayatollahs' track record, the hate America Iranian school textbooks and the violent, megalomaniacal and apocalyptic Death to America worldview of the Ayatollahs and their close ties with North Korea, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador - the commercial, energy, national and homeland security consequences of the Iran nuclear agreement transcend the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and the Arab World. The implications of the game-changing agreement extend to the Western World, impacting Latin America, Mexico and every congressional district in the USA.
In 2015, Secretary Kerry attempts to assuage the concerns of the American people by portraying Iran's President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif as moderates. He fails to note that they were handpicked by the Ayatollahs, serving at their pleasure as their mouthpieces, due to their mastery of Taquiyya (Islam-sanctioned double-talk and deception, especially when dealing with "infidels"). Upon concluding the current negotiation, Kerry praised Zarif, Iran's charmer-in-chief, as "a tough negotiator and a patriot…. We approached these negotiations with mutual respect."
During the 1990s and until the eruption of the civil war in Syria, Kerry was a member of a small group of Senators, who considered Hafez Assad and then Bashar Assad – otherwise treated as pariah in the West - moderate, constructive, potentially pro-US and trust-worthy. He prodded Israel to cede the strategically-critical Golan Heights to Syria. Kerry was a frequent visitor to Damascus, asserting on March 16, 2011: "My judgment is that Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the US and the West and economic opportunities that come with it."
Kerry considered Yasser Arafat a messenger of peace, embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, dumped the pro-US President Mubarak, turned a cold shoulder toward the pro-US President Sisi and referred to the violently intolerant Arab Tsunami as the Arab Spring, "the new Arab awakening," transitioning from tyranny to democracy, the Facebook revolution and the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi and MLK.
Refuting Kerry's hope-driven policy, Amir Taheri, a senior columnist of A-Sharq Al-Awsat and a leading expert on Persian Gulf politics underlined Persian Gulf reality: "The assumption that the Rafsanjani/Rouhani faction is interested in reforms is far-fetched…. In the third year of Rouhani's presidency the number of prisoners of conscience has almost doubled along with the number of executions; political parties and trade unions remain banned; more publications have been shut than under Ahmadinejad; exporting terror has intensified with a 32% rise in the budget of the Quds Force, which controls Iran's terror network…. Kerry is chasing a dangerous fantasy: helping a regime in deep crisis regaining its bearings and do more mischief at home and abroad."
Echoing Saudi concerns that the Iran nuclear agreement dramatically bolsters the rogue Ayatollahs regime, precluding a regime change and eroding the US posture of deterrence, the veteran columnist adds: "The deal strengthens the radical hardliners in Teheran, who believe that they have carte blanche to pursue their imperial dream…. [Obama's and Kerry's] diplomacy has made the world a much more dangerous place."
The US power projection, which is essential for global stability, is further undermined when President Obama evokes JFK's Test Ban Treaty with the USSR – an adversarial, nuclear superpower, deterred by MAD - to market the nuclear deal with Iran. The latter is a medium size conventional power, a rogue, non-compliant, apocalyptic regime, induced by MAD, seeking capabilities to devastate "the arrogant, infidel, Great Satan USA." While JFK's policy constrained the bullish policies of the USSR, the Iran nuclear deal fuels the Ayatollah's bullishness, significantly enhancing their financial and military capabilities, thus intensifying global instability.