Friday, February 14, 2014

Analyst: Obama Secretly Hoping for New Alliance With Iran Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 12:19 PM By Drew MacKenzie Share:

     Analyst: Obama Secretly Hoping for New Alliance With Iran

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 12:19 PM
By Drew MacKenzie
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Author and geopolitical analyst Robert Kaplan believes that President Barack Obama is  reaching out to Iran to form a new alliance in the Middle East at the expense of existing allies.

Kaplan, an adviser with the Strategic Forecasting consulting firm, writes in an essay published at Real Clear World that the temporary nuclear treaty to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is "partly a pretext" by the Obama administration to obtain a strategic understanding with the country while turning its back on Israel.

The recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen "as a wolf in sheep's clothing" by conservatives and hardline Democrats who view the lifting of economic sanctions in the nuclear treaty with Iran as a sign of appeasement while deserting Israel, its main ally in the region.

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But the Obama administration views Rouhani from a very different point of view in the long term, Kaplan writes.

The administration sees him as a Deng Xiaoping type, "someone from within the ideological solidarity system who can, measure-by-stealthy-measure, lead his country away from ideology and toward internal reform." Deng Xiaoping led China towards a market economy after the death of Mao Zedong.

The potential reforms in Iran could lead to "something that could, in turn, result in an understanding with the West," wrote Kaplan, adding that the White House sees such an allegiance with Iran as "the last best opportunity for negotiation before Iran embarks further down a road that might lead to a U.S. or Israeli military strike."

On the face of it, Secretary of State John Kerry and the president maintain that the sole purpose of the six-month accord with the Iranians is to prevent getting nuclear weapon capability.

But's Michael Barone writes, "Kaplan's view provides a more convincing explanation of what they've actually been doing. It helps explain why Obama and Kerry remain equable in the face of Iranian officials' public statements that they have not given up their nuclear program."

Barone writes that Kaplan's opinion would explain Obama's and Kerry's fierce opposition to the sanctions bill supported by 59 senators and a large majority in the House — even though the proposed sanctions would only take effect if Iran faltered on its agreement to end its nuclear weapons program.

Obama is afraid that an Iran sanctions bill will lead to Iranians breaking off the talks and even leading to war in the Middle East. But Barone said "that makes little sense" because in his State of the Union address, Obama vowed that he would be the first to introduce new sanctions if the negotiations with Iran fell apart.

Kaplan also wrote that the White House is quietly attempting to create "a concert of powers that would include America, Iran, Russia, and Europe," all opposed to Sunni al-Qaida terrorists.

"The problem with a concert of powers is that it may wrongly assume both competence and good intentions on the part of the other members," Kaplan wrote

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