10 February 2016

Australia should back off its uncritical support of Obama's Iran deal

Efraim Inbar*, who visited Australia recently, was highly critical of Obama's "nuclear deal" with Iran for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that it legitimises Iran's nuclear infrastructure, and even if Iran complies with its obligations, it will be able to develop nuclear weapons in 10-15 years.

Professor Inbar also suggested that Australia's uncritical support for Obama's deal, and significant warming of diplomatic ties with Iran (despite its rogue international behaviour), is not in Australia's interests, for two reasons:
  1. 80-85% of the Muslim world is Sunni. Australian support for the Shi'ite version of  political Islam may alienate that majority; and
  2. the US Administration will change in about a year, and if the new Administration is critical of the deal, or winds it back, then Australia will be out of step with its greatest ally.

*Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (the BESA Center).

Inbar was educated at the Hebrew University (B.A. in Political Science and English Literature) and at the University of Chicago (M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science). He served as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University (2004), at Georgetown University (1991-92), and visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1996). Prof. Inbar was appointed as a Manfred Warner NATO Fellow (1998), was a visiting fellow at the (London) International Institute for Strategic Studies (2000), and was the recipient of the Onassis Fellowship (2003). He often lectures at institutions such as RAND, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Oxford, and Yale Universities.

Inbar’s area of specialization is Middle Eastern strategic issues with a special interest in the politics and strategy of Israeli national security. He has written over 80 articles in professional journals and edited volumes. He has authored five books: Outcast Countries in the World Community (1985), War and Peace in Israeli Politics. Labor Party Positions on National Security (1991), Rabin and Israel’s National Security (1999), The Israeli-Turkish Entente (2001), and Israel's National Security: Issues and Challenges since the Yom Kippur War (2008). He has also edited twelve collections of articles.  

Prof. Inbar served in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) as a paratrooper. He was a member of the Political Strategic Committee of the National Planning Council and the Chair of the Committee for the National Security Curriculum at the Ministry of Education. He served on the Academic Committee of the History Department of the IDF and as the President of the Israel Association of International Studies. Prof. Inbar is widely quoted in the Israeli and international press.

Areas of Specialization and Teaching:

  • War and Strategy
  • National Security Problems in the Middle East
  • Israeli Politics