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American Iranian Policies Seen As Thoughtlessly Reckless
by James Dunnigan
January 7, 2014

Despite the fact that the interim agreement with the rest of the world to negotiate about removing Iranian sanctions explicitly states that nearly all the sanctions continue until a final deal is agreed to, Iran is trying to stretch the terms of the interim deal. There are several examples of this already. The Assad government in Syria, which is also under a lot of international sanctions, recently ordered new food supplies and listed Iran as the guarantor of payment. The Syrians did not list one of the foreign Iranian bank accounts that are to be unfrozen by the interim agreement but instead stated that to an Iranian bank would take care of payment. This is still forbidden by the sanctions, but the Iranians were always bold and possessed of lots of initiative. In that spirit the Iranians are protesting the implementation of new sanctions authorized before the interim agreement. Actually, the interim agreement does not prevent new sanctions, something some Western politicians are calling for to give the Iranians more incentive to negotiate and implement a mutually acceptable final agreement. Iran does not see it that way, making it clear that the negotiations will be difficult and success is definitely not assured. The rest of the world is going to learn why the Gulf Arabs are so wary of Iran.

Israel is angry at the United States for making an interim peace deal with Iran that does nothing to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program and rewards the Iranians for showing up to talks. The U.S. disagrees with this assessment and moves forward towards a more comprehensive deal with Iran. Because of that both Saudi Arabia and Israel are now openly denouncing the American negotiations with Iran. Both Israel and the Arabs see Iran as a clear and present danger and consider the Americans naïve in their treatment of the Iranian menace. To the locals, Iran is not some new terrorist threat but an ancient problem that is still aggressive, dangerous and deceptive. Old hands in the U.S. bring up the fact that Iran was seen as a regional threat even before the Islamic clerics overthrew the monarchy in 1979. It should also be noted that Iran never really adjusted to democracy and has been run by ambitious and militant tyrants for thousands of year and especially in the last century. For Israel and the Arabs giving Iran the benefit of the doubt is not a prudent move and the American policies are seen as thoughtlessly reckless.

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