Tag Archives: Obama Iran agreement


BLOG 432
June 17, 2019



Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation,
ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.


Is the United States getting ready to go to war with Iran? Sounds like it.

Isn’t it amazing how often the Middle East pops up out of nowhere and dominates the headlines? Here we are again with battleships steaming toward the Straits of Hormuz and threats being shouted across the bow. Is war really on the horizon?

Recognizing that President Donald Trump is as predictable as a charging rhino and that he is willing to take rash actions to divert attention from his troubles at home makes predicting his responses unpredictable. At this point the idea of impeachment is more that idle talk. Consequently, the recent attacks on oil tankers raises important questions about what comes next.

However, the experts are not predicting a war. H.R. McMaster recently told The Jerusalem Post, “There are two ways of fighting America. One is symmetrically and the other is stupid.” He believes that the only way a country like Iran can fight America is through terrorism and insurgency.

Iran can huff and puff, but they know they can’t square off against the United States. For one thing, their current economy is in shambles. Secondly, the Sunni Saudis are standing at their borders with their guns raised and aimed at the Iranian Shi’ite. Not a good position to be in!

The Iranian Air Force relies heavily on jets sold to them by President Nixon and they now lack spare parts. Consequently, the American Air Force is in a position to overpower their air force, destroy their air fields, and do so at a minimal cost to American lives.

Probably that fleet of American battleships came sailing in more to send a message than start a fight.

American sanctions are breaking their back. The better option is to sit down and hammer out a new nuclear agreement that keeps everyone happy. The best option for them may well be to come out with new negotiations that insure their survival. A little cup of something is much better than a whole bucket of nothing.

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Filed under America, Iran, middle east, War, World


BLOG 262 July 20, 2015

Jay Leno’s in Israel cracking jokes at Natanyahu. “I know him to be a man of his word – unless of course the word is spoken the day before an election.” Are they laughing in Israel?

A carton appeared in an Israeli newspaper. One person says, “The US President is saying ‘trust me on Iran, I know what I’m doing.” The other person says, “Just like US Presidents have known what they were doing on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria?” Are they laughing in Washington?

The Iran nuclear negotiations and agreement has pushed Israel and the US further apart than they have ever been. The United States and five other countries are being told by the leader of one nation that they are wrong. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA signed off on the agreement. The agreement is predicted to be Obama’s most significant diplomatic achievement. Prime Minister Netanyahu says they all made a “historic mistake.”

Even retired major general Giora Eiland who headed Israel’s National Security Council a decade ago believes Israel should stop opposing the agreement. He said fighting it would be “counterproductive.” Would Netanyahu listen? No.

Can Netanyahu win with Congress? Probably not.  Will he loose big time with Obama and his administration?  He already has and will only sink further –win or lose the current battle. Why is it worth the effort to fight to a bloody finish?

  1. President Obama believes the agreement could bring moderation in Iran and set the stage to bring it closer to the International community and thereby change its hostile attitude.

Prime Minister Natanyahu does not agree.

  1. President Obama argues they have obtained the best deal possible and that sanctions have succeeded. Iran will used the money to bring relief to their national economy.

Prime Minister Natanyahu argues Iran will use this released wealth to prop up its radical allies Syria and Hezbollah and only further destabilize the region.

3, The nations negotiating the agreement believe they have the means to detect any failure on Iran’s part to keep their end of the bargain. The six nation allies believe Iran will approach the deal in good faith.

Most Israelis believe the Iranians will attempt to cheat at every turn.

Who is right and who is wrong? Probably –and frighteningly – only time will tell.

At this point, Obama is certainly not anti-Israel but neither is he their “best friend ever.”

Israelis argue that his ideology blinds him. He fails to grasp how dangerous Islamism actually is. He tends to see the Palestinians as a Third World people victimized by whites. He can not even utter the phrase “Islamist terrorism.”

On the other hand, Natanyahu has proved to be a flip-flopping, double-speak politician who can be as obstinate as a brick wall. His logic is blurred by fears from the Holocaust.

Both men need to step back and take a deep breath – as does the public. The agreement achieved in Vienna is narrow in its scope and doesn’t pretend to solve a host of other problems –like American prisoners in Iran jails and Iran’s support of terrorism. It simply puts the lid on pursuit of a nuclear bomb for a limited period of time.

The question the world has to consider is whether that solution is better than nothing.

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