Iran’s support for Hezbollah and the Assad regime, by some estimates, cost less than $10 billion last year. A $60 billion windfall — even after funding for bread and circuses (assuming the regime allows circuses) — would purchase a great deal of regional chaos.
When Obama administration officials talk of pushing back against Iranian influence, they are really proposing to augment the defenses of Israel and the Arab states against conventional attack. “They have no answer to the subversive activities of Iran in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen,” Michael Doran of the Hudson Institute told me. “The terms of the nuclear agreement itself make ‘push back’ very difficult, because the agreement says that any further sanctioning of Iran will blow up the agreement. So we have given Iran an instrument to blackmail us into not containing them.”
The Iran nuclear agreement may be defended as the best a tired nation can do. But members of Congress should vote with open eyes. This agreement will fund Iranian imperialism — while creating disincentives for the United States to confront it. The Iranians signed the agreement because it was a great deal — for them.