Has Selling the Iran Deal Produced Bad Policy?
Roula Khalaf : “In the administration’s quest to prove it has no intention of appeasing the Islamic Republic despite the compromise on Tehran’s nuclear programme, it has fallen into the trap of appeasing Iran’s rivals. The consequences will be difficult to untangle.”
“The US sent the wrong message by resuming military aid to Egypt this year, having suspended it in 2013 when an elected Islamist president was overthrown in a popularly-backed military coup. The only leverage Washington had over Mr Sisi was squandered. In Bahrain too, the US lifted restrictions on arms sales in June, claiming Manama had made significant progress on human rights.”
“But it is in Yemen that the US mollification of Arab allies could have the most destructive impact. At a time when the US priority is — and that of all its allies should be — the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the group known as Isis, Washington has supported a Saudi-led military campaign that has spread more chaos… But appearing to oppose the Gulf campaign while trying to sell the Iran deal in Washington and in the Middle East would have left the Obama administration open to charges that it was going soft on Iran, and letting down its Arab allies. Grudgingly, it has gone along with it, even if the war has undermined its anti-jihadi fight.”