Richard Haass Slams Obama: He’s Likely ‘Made the Situation Worse’ in the Middle East

‘As bad as the situation in the Middle East now is, imagine’ everyone having nuclear powers

[rush transcript]

SCARBOROUGH: “Richard Haass, you've had a day to look over the contours of this agreement. Has the president put himself in a position he can trust but verify to use the words of Ronald Reagan, the man, the president that he was alluding to?” 
HAASS: “Joe, I think over the next 10 to 15 years on the nuclear front he can possibly or probably do that. I think that's the upside of this agreement. Over that same period you’ll have a massive influx of resources into Iran which will make it less difficult to them to promote their imperial policy around the region. I think the biggest problem facing the president he didn’t addressed it, is what happens if Iran actually goes along with, complies with the agreement for 10 to 15 years and then essentially all the wraps are off and the agreement sets Iran up for becoming at least a massive nuclear threshold state if not an actual nuclear weapons state at that point, after the agreement runs its course in 15 years. Unless you think Iran is going to somehow be transformed into Switzerland over that time, what this agreement does is essentially buys you some time but at an enormous price. And that is a very expensive –“
SCARBOROUGH: “Richard, you are actually -- you know the president actually was saying that many of this critics were suggesting Republicans and conservative Democrats were trying to move the goal post and talk about Iran's behavior instead of the nuclear deal. But every -- all the wise men and women I spoke with in Washington, D.C. yesterday talked about how naive it was to just look at this deal through the prism of nuclear development. For better or worse, the president has allowed Iran under the world stage on more respectable manner at any time since 1979. And there are going to be seismic shifts because of that. Would you agree with that assessment?” 
HAASS: “There will in fact be, as you say, seismic shifts. A major challenge for American foreign policy is now to going to be to manage the fallout in the region, to try to manage the nuclear behavior of several of Iran's neighbors. As bad as the Middle East is now, Joe, imagine you had a situation with the Saudis, the Turks, and others began to, if you will, build a nuclear hedge against the possibility that in 10 or 15 years they could be facing an unconstrained Iran. So the president, not just in the Tom Friedman interview, but in his earlier press conference is essentially said, he had solved the problem of the spread of nuclear weapons to the Middle East. And I respectfully disagree. At best he bought us 10 or 15 years. At worst, he is actually made the problem worse.”

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