There is a strong likelihood that Obama was wrong to prioritize the Iran Nuclear Deal over other issues in the Middle East, writes Joshua Keating of Slate. In doing so, he accelerated the sectarian conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, increasing tension in the whole region, and fueling huge death tolls in Syria and Yemen. Because of the deal, the US toned down its protest over Saudi Arabia’s terrible war in Yemen, in order for relations not to break down. While preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons was a good goal, it may not have been worth the intensification of the Syrian war that has reached all the way to Europe with its refugees.
While not ideal, the Iran Nuclear Deal is the best tape holding together relative stability in the Middle East. Without it, a war with Iran would be much closer on the horizon as tensions with Saudi Arabia and Israel could boil over, infers Stephen M. Walt of Foreign Policy. Preventing the Islamic Republic from having nuclear weapons, even in the short term, is the best current solution. Some have criticized the deal as too lenient, but a hard approach between 2000 and 2012 saw Iran acquire 12,000 nuclear centrifuges. Undoing it, as the Trump administration has proposed, would risk worsening conflicts. Diplomacy and dialogue is the way forward.