Fineman: Obama Didn’t Fully Realize How Gulf Arabs Would React to Iran Deal

Huffington Post Media Group Global Editorial Director and MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman stated that the Obama administration didn’t fully realize or appreciate the amount of distrust towards Iran by Gulf Arab countries like Saudi Arabia on Thursday’s broadcast of “The Cycle” on MSNBC.

Fineman said of the Saudis that, “We have to be clear-eyed about who they are and what they want” because they have “caused trouble around the world, in terms of some of the terrorists that have been wreaking havoc elsewhere.”

He added, “I’m not sure that the administration fully realized that by allowing, in the tentative version of the deal, for 5,000 to 6,000 enrichment centrifuges still to operate, in terms of allowing the Iranians to continue research on more advanced centrifuges that they would give the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs the excuse or a reason to say they wanted to do more.”

Fineman continued that while, “I give the president and his people an A for effort, and I think they’re honest in their intentions, and I think they want to strike a good deal, and there’s a lot of merit to the argument that if you involve the Iranians, if you bring them — if you drag Iranian society away from the rejectionist mullahs, that you’ve got a greater chance for peace.” One must, “Keep in mind in this region, you’re talking about 3,000 years of enmity between Persia, if you will, and the region of the Gulf. These are ancient, ancient hatreds and fears. The Saudis and the other Gulf State Arabs on this question, about Iran, make the Israelis look soft and naive. I mean, they’re the ones who are almost more apocalyptically afraid of Iran than the Israelis are. And that’s the situation that I’m not sure the president entirely appreciated. And Ben Rhodes can say all that he wants, but Ben Rhodes is a spin doctor, he’s a speechwriter. he doesn’t know the situation on the ground because he’s not been in it.”

(h/t Washington Free Beacon)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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