Last week, President Obama finally set a date — May 13 — for Washington’s Arab allies to gather at an “urgent” summit.
Obama made the invitation to calm Arab fears his administration had decided to let Iran acquire full nuclear capability and pursue hegemonic plans in the Mideast. Those fears were grounded in Obama’s readiness to bend over backward to woo the mullahs.
European allies involved in the talks have told Arab officials that in the final phase of negotiations Iran and the United States were often on the same side against unexpected hardness from the French and hesitation from the British.
Analysts believe Obama’s strategy is to use the talks as a means of influencing Iran’s domestic politics to help the more “moderate” faction led by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, now in control of the presidency, capture other organs of power in Tehran.
Arabs believe that Obama’s strategy is built on the same illusion that led Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton into helping the mullahs out of tight corners in the hope of securing a “grand bargain.”