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The Key to Middle East Peace Is in Tehran

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Scott Brown makes a cogent (and too infrequently made) argument:

The fact that Palestinians finally agreed to direct negotiations, without preconditions, is a positive step. But let’s not delude ourselves: There can never be peace in the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran.

He confirms what many observers have already reported: moderate Arab states care far less about the “peace process” than they do about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. (“[I]n all my meetings in Israel and Jordan, what weighed most on the minds of security officials and political leaders was the prospect of a nuclear Iran.”) He explains:

It is not hard to imagine the terror that would be unleashed if Hezbollah and Hamas—emboldened by the protective watch of their benefactor—stepped up their campaign of hate against Israel. This would, in turn, embolden extremists around the globe.

But of course, an increasingly aggressive Iranian regime, even without nuclear weapons, is largely responsible for the ongoing terror directed against Israel. This is the real barrier to peace (sorry, Peter Beinart et. al, it’s not the settlements). Hamas killed five Israelis this week, but what country supports and funds Hamas? Iran. Abbas can’t make a peace deal even if he wanted to (a very big “if”), because he cannot give Israel what it wants — an end to violence. That will only come when terrorist groups (including Hezbollah on its northern boarder) are defanged. And that requires regime change and/or a decisive blow to their patrons in Tehran.

From the start of his presidency, Obama has had linkage backward — making the unsupportable claim that Iran can be disarmed only in the aftermath of a successful peace process. It is actually the reverse — toppling the mullahs would be the best encouragement (other than the Palestinians’ renunciation of violence and a one-state solution) to a true peace process. Ironically, doing what Obama loathes (attacking Iran, adopting regime change as our official policy) may be the only way for him to get what he desperately wants but cannot achieve (resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict).


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