Paul Bonnifield: Rejection of Iranian Nuclear Agreement dangerous
October 25, 2017
Congress must take a serious look at the dangers associated with President Trump’s rejection of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement.
Since Trump took office, the international power structure in the Middle East has changed dramatically, and the United States must adjust to the new reality. Russia is a major military and economic force in the region. With Russia’s support, Bashar al-Assad remains in power, and Russia has recently signed long-term agreements to maintain naval power at Port of Tartus.
The agreements include nuclear submarines. Other agreements allow for a powerful air force and military police. Also, Russia is planning at least two large petroleum pipelines, Nord-Stream 2 and Turk Stream, from Iran and Iraq across Syria. Russia’s influence includes forming and enforcing Syrian foreign policy.
For decades, Iran and Syria held close economic and political interests. Russia and Iran have enjoyed friendly relations since the 1990s, although in recent months, it’s been strained as Russia gains power in the Middle East. Despite the tension, the “Times of Israel” reported Russia’s foreign minister assured Iran’s counterpart of “Moscow’s full commitment” to the Iran nuclear deal. Russia has also supplied Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft systems.
In July, the French oil company Total signed an agreement to construct a major gas line from Iran’s Pac South gas field to Europe. It is inconceivable they will walk away from the agreement in order to support Trump’s Agenda.
The other signers, England, Germany and China, are not interested in reimposing sanctions. Without everyone’s support, the United States’ sanctions will fail to achieve their goal, and America will be embarrassed.
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The entire military and diplomatic world of the Middle East and Persian Gulf has changed, and the U.S. is losing influence and leverage to Russia. The United States must chose fights it can win.