Saudi prince: Iran deal worse than one with N. Korea

Former Saudi ambassador to U.S. said the nuclear deal will 'will wreak havoc in the Middle East'

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Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former ambassador to Washington, has said in an opinion piece for Elaph newspaper that the United States moved forward with the Iran nuclear deal despite predictions of the situation developing into a North Korean-style scenario.

In a column published by the London-based Arabic news website Elaph, the former chief of intelligence said the nuclear deal “will wreak havoc in the Middle East,” a region already plagued by major conflicts.

“Serious pundits in the media and in politics say that President Obama’s Iran deal is ‘déjà vu’ in relation to President Clinton’s North Korean nuclear deal.”

President Clinton’s decision was based on strategic foreign policy analysts, top secret national intelligence, and the desire “to save the people of North Korea from starvation,” wrote Prince Bandar, in reference to the 1994 “Agreed Framework” between North Korea and the United States that aimed to freeze the country’s nuclear power program.

The agreement finally broke down in 2003 when North Korea announced its withdrawal from the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and later declared it had manufactured nuclear weapons. The country now has as many as 20 nuclear warheads, according to Chinese intelligence.

President Clinton “would not have made that decision” had he known it was based on “a major intelligence failure” and “wrong foreign policy analysis,” wrote Prince Bandar, nephew of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

But “President Obama made his decision to go ahead with the Iran nuclear deal fully aware that the strategic foreign policy analysis, the national intelligence information, and America’s allies in the region’s intelligence all predict not only the same outcome of the North Korean nuclear deal but worse - with the billions of dollars that Iran will have access to,” Prince Bandar stated.

“It will wreak havoc in the Middle East which is already living in a disastrous environment, in which Iran is a major player in the destabilization of the region,” he continued.

Why would Obama go ahead with such an agreement, “knowing what President Clinton didn’t know when he made his deal with North Korea?” questioned the former diplomat.

It’s because Obama “ideologically believes what he is doing is right,” said Prince Bandar.

“Everything else, that could be a disastrous result of his decision, I believe he thinks it is acceptable collateral damage,” he added.

“I am convinced more than any other time that my good friend, the magnificent old fox Henry Kissinger, was correct when he said ‘America’s enemies should fear America, but America’s friends should fear America more’,” wrote Prince Bandar, quoting the former U.S. secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize winner who served under former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

“People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally,” wrote the prince.

On Tuesday, Iran and five major world powers formally concluded a deal that aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.

Iran and major powers agreed on a mechanism under which the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, could gain access to suspect nuclear sites in Iran under certain conditions, according to the text of the Iran nuclear agreement.

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