Nov. 2, 2015
The American invitation to Tehran to discuss bringing an end to the Syrian civil war, writes Lee Smith, is a public manifestation of the Obama administration’s determination to create a détente with Iran that bodes ill for Israel:
Iran has only one interest in Syria, which is to protect its ally, Bashar al-Assad, whose regime facilitates the transfer of missiles to Hizballah. . . . You might think that the government of the United States has an interest in severing the weapons supply line between Iran and a terrorist organization waging war against an American ally. But that’s old thinking. President Obama is building a new Middle East on the foundation of the Iranian nuclear deal, which foresees a balance of powers among all the regional actors that will bring stability to a wildly volatile neighborhood. Everyone needs to be deterred, including American allies. So as the White House sees it, Iran’s supplying Hizballah with weapons that it points at Israel is a necessary condition of Middle East peace. . . .
It’s worth noting that while Tehran has three seats at the table in Vienna (the governments it controls in Lebanon and Iraq as well as its own), Israel wasn’t invited, even though the Syrian war touches directly on Jerusalem’s national security. A soon-to-be-nuclear state putting missiles on Israel’s borders is a serious matter, but that’s not how the White House sees it—or Russia for that matter.