U.S. allies in the Middle East view nuclear deal as a sign of U.S. capitulation
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While many actors on the American domestic scene are claiming that we can’t evaluate the agreement until we see every detail, our Middle Eastern allies passed judgment on it a long time ago. It is, in their eyes, a very bad deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been uniquely vocal in expressing his disapproval, but his view is widely shared by his neighbors, who also feel abandoned and betrayed. One can argue that their feelings are an overreaction, but one cannot deny that they are based on a reading of four very real trends in President Obama’s Iran diplomacy. Those trends are as follows.
First, our allies complain about the persistent failure of the United States to stand its ground in the face of Iranian intransigence. At every stage of the negotiations, the Obama administration has retreated: on the number of centrifuges, on the underground bunker at Fordow, on “anytime, anywhere” inspections at military facilities—on all of these issues and many more. For our allies, the American concessions have certainly resulted in a bad agreement, but equally disturbing to them is the spectacle of retreat itself. The sight of a backpedaling America raises fears that the United States will not be there in a pinch. The allies ask themselves, “If the Americans are prepared to whittle away their own demands, how will they behave when one of us gets into a fight with Iran? Will they rush to our side? Or will they whittle us down too?”
"Testimony of Michael Doran: Implications of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran (Part I)
." Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Relations, July 9, 2015. [ More (3 quotes) ]