Last Tuesday at FPIF Rob Prince wrote that congressional hawks — Democrats, as well as Republicans — were seeking to neuter the Iran nuclear deal by creating legislation allowing the United States to sell Israel weapons for attacking Iran. At one point, he quoted Asia Times’s M K Bhadrakumar from his blog.
Tehran has every reason to be concerned that in its efforts to placate the Israelis who are hopping mad at the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration may begin supplying Israel with the means to attack Iran on its own, without US direct involvement. The prevailing assessment of experts is that while Israel may succeed in penetrating the Iranian air defence system (at a high cost, of course), it needs very large bombs or so-called Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) and very large aircraft to carry them to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites some of which are buried deeply underground.
Pressure is indeed building up in Washington on the US supplying the MOPs and the legendary B52 bombers to Israel. In a joint article in WaPo recently, two hugely influential pro-Israeli voices in the US Dennis Ross (formerly special assistant to Obama for the Middle East) and David Petraeus (formerly director of the CIA) made precisely such a recommendation.
I’m sure that if one looked, one could find many situations that echo this one. Most recently, seeking ratification for the New START Treaty in 2010, the Obama administration allowed itself to be held hostage by the Republican Congress. As a results, the treaty, once ratified, was offset, watered down, canceled out — however you want to put it — by the administration’s agreement to provide funding for modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons to the point where some were almost new weapons. Thus freezing arms control in place.