Saudi officials have said little in public, but they fear the end of sanctions on Iran could boost what they see as its subversive activities in the Middle East while also enriching a diverse economy that the oil-dependent kingdom views as a major competitor for regional influence.
Well, since the cash tsunami heading toward Tehran is alarming, it only makes sense that Saudi Arabia would be alarmed.
Indeed, could Saudi Arabia be so alarmed that they decide they must wage war on Iran before all the benefits that Iran has received have an impact on the balance of power? (And that's even before you address acquiring nukes.)
Yet administration cheerleaders don't understand why Republicans are just as alarmed:
A case in point is the past week’s diplomatic feats with Iran. First, a crisis over the seizure of two U.S. patrol boats, which had trespassed into Iranian waters, was settled peacefully in a day. Then, the Iranians were declared in compliance with the nuclear deal that was signed in July, as a result of which decades-long economic sanctions were lifted. Finally, five Americans were released from Iranian jails as part of a prisoner exchange.
And yet the leading Republican presidential candidates denounced these deals—which would be impressive achievements in any commander-in-chief’s record-book—as signs of weakness, cowardice, and worse.
Is Fred Kaplan serious?
Yes, Iran released the sailors and boats. After they captured them (not rescued them as the administration tries to spin), humiliated them (and America) by the manner of holding them, and then released them knowing we would do nothing to even slow the path to releasing tons of money to Iran under the nuclear deal!
The Iranians only stopped just shy of putting a collar and leash on Kerry and making him crawl around barking!
Then, Iran was declared in compliance of the very early stages of a deal that must actually last 15 more years to represent a deal that stops Iran from going nuclear in that timeframe.
But with this baby step of compliance, Iran gets all of the financial rewards they were promised! We all know the promise of "snapback" sanctions is farcical. So now Iran has the cash and we have the promises.
And then 5 Americans held hostage were released. At a high price and in a manner that even Kaplan describes in a manner favorable to Iranian propaganda--a "prisoner exchange"--as if the Americans held and tortured by Iran on trumped up charges are equivalent to people we charged and convicted of actual crimes against our laws.
These are not impressive achievements. Well, not for America. For Iran they are fairly spectacular. There will be more.
Our leaders--and their fanboys--seem to sincerely believe they achieved a victory (for us, that is). Amazing.