General Petraeus Says Iran is Part of the Problem in Middle East, Not the Solution
According to former CIA Director General David Petraeus, Iran is part of the problem in the Middle East, not the solution.
In written comments published Friday in The Washington Post the retired general also warned that the rise of the Islamic Republic could lead to a Middle East nuclear arms race, and the continued rise of radical Sunni groups like Islamic State.
“The current Iranian regime is not our ally in the Middle East. It is ultimately part of the problem, not the solution,” Petraeus told the Post.
Petraeus also warned that rising Iranian hegemony could destabilize the Middle East:
Iranian power in the Middle East is thus a double problem. It is foremost problematic because it is deeply hostile to us and our friends. But it is also dangerous because, the more it is felt, the more it sets off reactions that are also harmful to our interests — Sunni radicalism and, if we aren’t careful, the prospect of nuclear proliferation as well.
Petraeus’s comments echo recent fears about Iranian supremacy in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia has said that it will seek nuclear technology should Iran continue with its nuclear program. Some observers believe that the Saudis might even buy a nuclear weapon should Iran develop one. Just last week the Saudis signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, reigniting fears of a Middle East arms race.
Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies also warned against viewing Iran as a friend, even though it is engaged in the battle against Islamic State. In comments to The Algemeiner earlier this week, May said that it is “a fallacy to believe that the answer to the Islamic state is the Islamic Republic.”