One big Nuclear Family

Dad’s gone rogue. Mom’s taken all familial decisions into her own hands. The child is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Sounds like season 6 of Breaking Bad, right? It’s actually America’s fiasco with Iran, and the drama is mounting.

America has taken the role of father figure here; well, President Obama specifically. Putting his conceptually idyllic universal rhetoric to use, the President of the United States is giving lifeline after lifeline to a regime devoted to both America’s and Israel’s annihilation. His open arms policy toward the negotiations, although optimistic in nature, has raised many questions both at home and abroad about when the line has to be drawn between optimism and realism. In some cases, questions turned into actions.

Saudi Arabia is Shi’a Iran’s Sunni nemesis. The President’s policy on Iran has terrified the petrodollar superpower into taking matters into its own hands. The falling gas prices are a prime example. Saudi Arabia has used their hegemonic influence on oil to inflict an economic sanction against Iran. The current price of around 50 dollars a barrel is only about 35% of Iran’s required threshold to be operating in the plus. This is a direct response to Iran’s potential of becoming the controlling Islamic power in the region.

Even more so, America’s timidity has forced Saudi Arabia to do the unthinkable: cooperate with Israel. What’s even more disparaging is the fact that Saudi Arabia, the country at least somewhat responsible for 9/11, and previously responsible for the majority of Hamas’s funding, is assuring Israel of its regional safety more than America. Read that sentence again. This is the rock and a hard place for Israel, and the gap is ever-narrowing.

The polarization surrounding the Obama Administration’s policy towards Iran is ubiquitous; it can be found at every level of government. It has even managed to blur the line between international and domestic policy, with John Boehner controversially inviting Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on the urgency of a nuclear Iran. With Congress reverting to back to partisan divisions, Netanyahu finds himself running two campaigns – one here and one in Israel.

Iranian policy evidently transcends government stratification, and for good reason. A nuclear Iran poses an existential threat to Israel, the Middle East, and global stability. The Obama Administration has been criticized for its leniency and reluctance to acknowledge the proximity of this threat, Israel and Saudi Arabia have become unlikely allies, and the Israeli Prime Minister is speaking to the U.S. Congress. How’s that for family drama. However, trust remains an elusive hypothetical in this ever-changing dynamic, for it is important to remember that, as in any family, blood still runs thicker than water.

About the Author
Gefen was born in Los Angeles, California. He is currently attending UC Santa Barbara, where he is completing a double major in Political Science and Economics.
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