1 Aug '15            home | more politics

Fear of Iran

Freed from economic pressure and flush with financial resources, Iran can be expected to "unleash its emboldened minions upon Israel and Arab states and undermine US interests." This is what opponents of the nuclear agreement with Iran think, as described by Vali Nasr, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. And he doesn't agree. He claims that "the nuclear deal is far more likely to curb Iran's regional ambition. It is rather the instability that would follow the failure of the deal that should worry them."

Last year, Iran spent $15 billion on its military last year. Its rival Saudi Arabia spent $80 billion. Nasr continues:

The Arab countries most worried about Iranian mischief outspent Iran by a margin of 8 to 1. Iran does not have an air force, and its ground forces and navy lag technologically behind its rivals. The nuclear deal, he writes, will only widen this gap.

He adds that "under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran would have to wait another five years for a UN- -imposed arms embargo to be lifted." He writes that the nuclear agreement "does relieve economic pressure on Iran, but not enough to change the balance of power in the region."

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