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The Western Muddle in the Middle East


As we all watch events unfold today regarding the possibility of intervention in Syria, it’s important to keep a bigger regional strategic picture in mind. And taken as a whole, Western policy toward the Middle East in almost complete disarray.

Take this nugget, for example: Last Friday, the EU’s general court struck down sanctions against a handful of Iranian businesses, dealing a serious blow to the West’s sanctions regime targeting Iran’s nuclear program. The court said that the EU had “not provided the facts” that Post Bank Iran, Good Luck Shipping and five other companies support Iran’s nuclear program.

Apparently Western intelligence agencies are unwilling to turn over the evidence because the information becomes public once the court gets access. “Additional cases could be overturned as appeals work their way through the legal system,” the FT reported.

On the one hand, it’s an excellent opportunity for the Iranians to negotiate the most favorable possible deal, as weakened Western politicians will be desperately grasping for face-saving measures. On the other, Iranian hardliners can make the case that opposition to the nuclear program only comes from paper tigers, and that, with a little persistence and steady nerves, Iran can push across the nuclear threshold.

The Israelis and Saudis, two of the US’s closest allies most threatened by these developments, are unlikely to accept this state of affairs passively.

[Ayatollah Ali Khamenei photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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  • Corlyss

    And then there’s the moron we now have for SecState who idly shoots off his mouth, like Dear Leader, and gives the Russians and Syrians more time pretending they might consider a fanciful proposal to turn over chemical weapons to some 3rd part. The Dismal Duo need to stop ad-libbing policy at the mike.

  • bobby_b

    Remind me if I’m wrong, but . . . International pinky-swear or not, we (the U.S. of A.) always retain the right and power and privilege to repudiate treaties et al. to the extent that we feel it efficacious to protect our national physical security.

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