Bret Stephens writes that it takes a special innocence to imagine that the chaos unfolding in the Middle East can be put right.
MORE FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, BRET STEPHENS:
Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser, has been offering a reassuring view of the Iranian nuclear deal in the face of some Arab skepticism. “If you can diplomatically and peacefully resolve the nuclear issue in a way that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he told reporters last week, “we believe that will lead to a much more stable region.” Mr. Rhodes also contends that with a deal “there will be no need to see [a] regional arms race.”
So what’s more frightening: That Mr. Rhodes believes what he’s saying? Or that he does not?
Just for Mr. Rhodes’s benefit, here’s a refresher course on stability and the arms race in the Middle East since April 2, 2015, the day Mr. Obama announced his framework nuclear agreement with Iran.
April 2: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif immediately accuses the U.S. of “spin” and contradicts Mr. Obama’s key claims regarding the terms of the deal.
April 12: A Swedish think tank reports that Saudi Arabia registered the biggest increase in defense spending in the world.
April 13: Moscow says it will deliver the S-300 air-defense system to Tehran. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei later boasts that the U.S. “can’t do a damn thing” militarily against Iran.
April 14: Iran announces agreements with Russia and China to build additional nuclear reactors.
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