Second, with the double talk on Iran of some Arab states exposed, the Arab facade of opposing war and favoring a peaceful solution has fallen apart. Though this revelation doesn’t significantly change realities on the ground, it does exacerbate an already dire situation. The charade and double talk did play a positive function – it created some wiggle room for diplomacy. With the facade perishing, that wiggle room is all but gone.
Finally, Washington has some tough decisions to make. The cables reveal that even though Obama came in with a strong vision for engagement, that vision has since Inauguration Day 2009 been compromised for several reasons, including opposition from some Arab states, France and Israel as well as the actions of Tehran. In the end, engagement was pursued, but with the expectation it would fail. It is unlikely that the resources and dedication needed for success was given to a policy that the administration expected to fail. The choice now is between trying diplomacy in earnest or prepare for the confrontation that inevitably will come if the current trajectory of tensions prevails.

Trita Parsi is the president of the National Iranian American Council.