“I don’t believe that the spirit [of the deal], with a time limit and so many escape clauses, will do anything other than bring nuclear weapons all over the Middle East,” Kissinger said.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that a return to the “spirit” of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal would lead to the spread of the weapons throughout the Middle East, in virtual remarks Monday.
“We should not fool ourselves,” he said. “I don’t believe that the spirit [of the deal], with a time limit and so many escape clauses, will do anything other than bring nuclear weapons all over the Middle East and therefore create a situation of latent tension that sooner or later will break out.”
The comments came during an interview with Dennis Ross, who has advised several U.S. presidents on the Middle East, at a virtual event held by the Jewish People Policy Institute. Kissinger served as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
“In principle I could imagine negotiating with the current regime if it changes its attitudes, but they don’t seem to find it possible to give up this combination of Islamist imperialism and threat,” said Kissinger.
The 97-year-old former diplomat also said that that there was a “window of opportunity for a new Middle East” after the recent normalization agreements between Israel and states like United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
“The Arab states have learned or have come to the conclusion that their national interests transcend their ideological interests,” Kissinger said. “Their survival as societies cannot be maintained in a state of constant tensions with the West and with Israel.”