While President Obama hopes his nuclear deal with Iran will burnish his presidential legacy as a great peacemaker, the near-term consequence will be more—and even bloodier—sectarian violence in the Middle East. In particular, security threats will escalate for Saudi Arabia and Israel, until now America’s two major Mideast allies.
The Israelis and Saudis, longtime adversaries, in recent years have joined in vehement opposition to Mr. Obama’s attempts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Tehran. For the Israelis the concern was entirely about an Iranian atomic weapon. But for the Saudis the fear was less about future nuclear capability than about the real and present threat that a deal would further enhance Iran’s regional stature and its capability to ratchet up the regime’s exploitation of regional sectarian divisions.