Award-winning journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave tells Newsmax that the agreement reached between Iran and world powers will serve only to "postpone the inevitable": Iran obtaining nuclear weapons capability.
A 30-year veteran of Newsweek magazine, de Borchgrave is now executive director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, editor-at-large at United Press International, and a Newsmax correspondent.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday, de Borchgrave offers his views on the deal involving Iran's nuclear program and international sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
"To understand the whole situation you have to go back to 1968, when Harold Wilson, then the prime minister of the U.K., said we have to abandon all of our security obligations east of Suez all the way down to Singapore. We can't afford it," de Borchgrave says. "That's when the Nixon Doctrine kicked in."
President Richard Nixon's doctrine said that each U.S. ally was in charge of its own security in general, but that the United States would act as a nuclear umbrella when requested.
"Under the Nixon Doctrine, Iran under the shah was made responsible for [Persian] Gulf security," de Borchgrave says. "And the shah told me in 1973, we are going to become a nuclear power, it's inevitable.
"So, there's nothing new about the mullahs' wanting nuclear power. They started as soon as they took over. They started making deals with Pakistan to get a nuclear wherewithal. So, what's going on today doesn't shock me, and the Israelis, many Israelis I know, understand this. But Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has made this an existential crisis."
De Borchgrave says he understands why Iran feels the need to acquire nuclear weapons.
"You look at a map of the world, and you have six of the world's nuclear powers around Iran: Israel to the west, Russia to the north, China to the northeast, India and Pakistan to the east, and the U.S. [military] to the south. So, anyone in Tehran today looking at the future of the world would want to achieve nuclear capability. I've never found that extraordinary.
"Of course, the mullah regime did threaten Israel in an outrageous way, and if you put yourself in the shoes of the Israelis, it is an existential crisis because they may not survive one shot. It's all very well to tell them you can destroy Iran in retaliation, but what would be left of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?"
The main goal of Iran's nuclear weapons development program is "nuclear deterrence," de Borchgrave maintains.
"I talk to my Israeli friends all the time about the threats that are emanating from Tehran," he says. "I say, what about the threats that we had to face starting with Mao Zedong, who said that there were 800 million Chinese at that time. He was talking about the post-nuclear-war complexion of China. We will have 400 million people left.
"Mao said these things. That was an existential crisis for the United States if they became a nuclear power. They did become a nuclear power, and they assumed a certain amount of responsibility that went with it. Same thing happened under Stalin. Stalin said the most outrageous things about what would happen in the next nuclear war. As soon as they achieved nuclear capability, shortly behind us, the tone changed completely."
According to de Borchgrave, nothing would really change if Iran did have nuclear weapons capabilities.
"I don't believe so, and they also know that Israel can indeed flatten Iran," he says.
But he acknowledges that the possibility Iran could provide terrorists with nuclear weapons is "a legitimate fear, obviously."
"I don't think you can reverse what Iran has been working on since the days of the shah, and they spent a fortune to achieve a nuclear capability. Today, the agreement as far as I'm concerned is just to postpone the inevitable."
De Borchgrave tells Newsmax that Saudi Arabia has a deal to obtain nuclear weapons from Pakistan if Iran becomes a nuclear threat.
"I was there in Islamabad in 2003 when the king flew in with three jumbo jets full of Saudi officials. We couldn't understand what was going on. They spent 24 hours there and then went home. That was when the deal was made.
"So, the Saudis know that if Iran develops nuclear capabilities, they are assured of the same thing."
Looking ahead at the future of the region, de Borchgrave says: "I've been covering the Middle East on and off since 1950, 30 of those years with Newsweek, and if there's anything I learned about that part of the world is its unpredictability. All of the things that you'd been forecasting in your career turned out to be wrong or half-right.
"It's very, very difficult to forecast the future in that part of the world. You've got the civil war going on in Syria. We were thinking of getting involved in Syria until we discovered that it's basically al-Qaida and its associated movements that now have the dominant side of that war."
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