Deal Breakers or Food For Thought?

Deal Breakers or Food For Thought?

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

A new force has crept into the picture from two different perspectives both of which are rather cynical but could conceivably break the deal negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran to control the Iranian nuclear weapons development program. One of them emanates from Israel and one from Iran itself—indirectly.

Israel is reporting that there is a dangerous escalation of fighting on the Golan Heights beyond Israel’s borders. There are reports that Israel may well be considering some type of land operation into the area to re-stabilize the area. These same sources apparently are suggesting that the forces fighting against ISIS on the Heights are being supported by Iran. Were Israel to attempt to settle the fighting, invariably part of its spin would be that this is precisely the danger which Israel faces now, before Iran has the resources which will become available to it once the sanctions are lifted.

A more serious possible seal breaker could be developing in Syria and Iraq as reports have now been received from a number of sources that ISIS has introduced the internationally outlawed mustard gas into its offensive weapons package and is employing it against the Kurds. It is assumed that this this gas and conceivably other outlawed chemical weapons are being supplied by the Islamic State from supplies they have captured from the Syrians.

It is known that both Iraq and Iran made extensive use of chemical weapons during their almost nine year war in the 1980’s. It has also now been concluded that Syria did not dispose of all of its chemical weapons as was demanded by the international community a few years ago. The availability of chemical weapons in Syria and thus in Iraq for ISIS to use against the Kurds or whomever it wishes, could lead Iran to re-open its presumed chemical weapons stockpile as well.

Whether such actions would scuttle the deal on nuclear weapons or force the Obama Administration to seek to postpone or re-visit the agreement is unlikely; however it could give some Members of Congress just enough cover for them to use Iran’s behavior–while the ink is not yet dry on the agreement–to now vote to oppose the deal. 

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