Victor Davis Hanson

Should we expect anything less from Iran?

Because Iran is not a consensual society, our nuclear deal will last only as long as Iran finds it strategically useful. After restoring their fiscal health, expect that the Iranians will abruptly reboot all their centrifuges and finish making a bomb. The theocracy will also use the present non-aggression arrangement with the United States to double down in Syria, energize Hezbollah and strengthen Hamas.

Just as the German-Russian deal ensured the start of World War II in Europe, and the Russian-Japanese accord led to Pearl Harbor and a Pacific theater of conflict, so too a now heady Iran will use its diplomatic exemption to fund more terrorism and offer more provocation to Israel and the Sunni Gulf states.

The United States has already learned after its Syrian backdown that dictator Bashar Assad was emboldened and is now clearly winning the war against the insurgents. He certainly seems more legitimate and confident ever since we begged Syria not to use any more weapons of mass destruction and asked the United Nations to help dismantle what they could find.

Americans are $17 trillion in debt and tired of intervention in the Middle East. Anything that might preclude the need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent a nuclear theocracy is understandably attractive. But the problem with such appeasement is that it only delays a reckoning and usually ensures war.

The tough sanctions against Iran were finally beginning to work. The regime was getting desperate and running out of money to fund its bomb program and terrorist appendages.

Then, suddenly, we caved -- allowing Iran both a nuclear program and normal commerce. The deal has terrified our Arab friends, bewildered some of our allies and isolated Israel.

More than 70 years ago, various deals among totalitarian Germany, Japan and Russia were not worth the paper they were written on. If the recent accord with Assad did not teach us that old lesson about trusting dictators, the one with Iran soon will.

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.