Another Side to the Iranian Deal? Just Wait.
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
The P5+1 deal with Iran has so far produced expected reactions. The Obama Administration appears very pleased with how much the deal has accomplished and suggests they will take it as an effective beginning. Critics in Washington are skeptical at best and the Israelis are angry. The deal was largely the deal that has been thrashed out now for a while whose key points have been discussed publically by the U.S. and Israel and which the Israelis have consistently argued was forgiving too fast without necessary conditions. It essence for them it was a sell-out or capitulation with nothing received in return.
Netanyahu’s frustration and annoyance in this preliminary accord is understandable and has been so stated to the world, but what is not mentioned is the extent to which it has aroused a similar response from the Saudis and the Gulf States. Clearly without any domestic coalition partners or a democratic legislature to hold it accountable, the Saudi royal family and its Gulf allies can choose their own method to respond to the Iran agreement; an understanding that they also find unacceptable.
There are three likely responses from the Sunni—read Saudi- leadership. They could inform the U.S. that they are dissatisfied but will permit the six month period to elapse to test Iranian compliance with it and with the further agreements forthcoming between the P5+1 and Iran. This would be a response that the U.S. would very much appreciate and may be expecting. Second, they could reject the agreement totally and demand its rescission; something that undoubtedly the U.S. will reject and work to ameliorate. Finally and most dangerous of all, the Saudis could announce that upon reflection and considered calculation they have reached the decision to proceed immediately with acquiring nuclear weapons for themselves.