Could the nuclear deal lead to US-Iran rapprochement?


US-Iran rapprochement?

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

_______________

The nuclear deal signed by US led west and Iran remains the top story around which  heated debates are taking place as to the deal is really significant  and its implications for Iran, USA, Israel and Europe as well as world peace in general. The discussions are inconclusive on whether or not USA and Iran could emerge strategic partners in US calculations and if do what would be status of Israel, thus far claiming regional super power armed with illegal nukes.

There is also a general global appreciation of West-Iran nuclear deal concluded recently and the recognition by international community of the beginning of a new future for the world by slowly shedding rifts.

Can the USA and Iran now build upon this agreement to improve their relations more broadly?

Needless to say this question stirs the strategic minds of USA, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, among others.  While Israel, already threatened by the American nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi would not like realignment of US-Iranian ties to further weaken US-Arab relations, Iran is wondering as to what is in store in USA for Tehran and what exactly the powerful US Jews and Israel would do to obstruct any real rapprochement between them that would have serious ramifications for Israeli super power status in Mideast including protection of its illegal interests in USA and Europe.

Considering how bad Iranian-American relations have been for so many years up until recently, Israel did not in fact expect that these two governments were able to reach a nuclear agreement at all. Western media reports and even manufactured opinions, seeking to empower Israel in Mideast and world at large by maintaining everlasting military-technology – diplomatic ties with USA, are now keeping their fingers deadly crossed as USA and other UNSC veto powers signed a historic nuclear deal with Iran, thereby paving smooth way for their mutual contacts and ties.

European powers, Russia, and China are already moving forward with Iran based on an assumption that the nuclear deal is done and sanctions on Iran will start to be lifted by the fall. Most Americans seek peace not by wars but through fruitful deals.

Leaving aside these problems, USA and Iran rapprochement to reach back to pre-Iraq-Iran war, could be problematic as there are significant obstacles to this.  One, of course, is that there are influential forces at work even in both countries that want to scuttle the nuclear deal altogether. But even though these could not succeed in blocking the deal, there are still other important differences between the two countries over several issues, including ongoing regional conflicts, US shield for Israeli regime and its nukes, Iranian relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, and human rights issues. Also, as the 1970s-era Soviet-American cold war standoff shows, continued differences over regional security issues can halt progress toward rapprochement. The pessimistic argument is that there is no credible reason for any real US-Iran patch up. They wish ill of Iran and well of Israel.

On the positive side, some observers point out the growing new US-China economic and political ties to show that the US-Iran rapprochement may not be acutely problematic as China and America were able to embark on rapprochement in 1971 despite important differences between them, including ongoing Chinese support for Vietnamese communists fighting American forces in Indochina and for the spread of Marxist revolution in general. Consequently, over the years since Mao, Chinese foreign policy changed and Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, even broke with Mao’s revolutionary worldview, opting, instead,  for mixing communism with capitalism. This economic code mixing has generated plenty of billionaires to successfully complete with US rich men. Now China readily finances US capitalism against American efforts not to subsidize communism or socialism in any manner.

US President Barack Obama said after the deal was signed: “My hope is that building on this deal, we can continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative…. Obama however cautioned “No one suggests that this deal resolves all the threats that Iran poses to its neighbors of the world. Moreover, realizing the promise of this deal will require many years.”

When Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered his prayer sermon to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, just days after conclusion of the landmark Iran nuclear deal, the hostile rhetoric rang as usual. Khamenei, just days before the July 14 deal between Iran and six world powers led by the United States, said that Iran’s fight against “arrogance” was “never-ending,” and that the USA “is the very epitome of arrogance”. This rhetoric had played its own positive role in bringing about the nuclear deal.

Earlier, as the terror bond between USA and Israel against, Iran, Palestinians and other Arabs increased in velocity and as both targeted Iran by calling the Islamic nation as a rouge state and Axis of evils, the supreme leader also praised Iranians who chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” decried “evil plots of the enemies” across the Middle East, and said US policies were “180 degrees” opposite those of the Islamic Republic. “Our policy toward the arrogant government of America will not change in any way despite these negotiations and the document that has been prepared,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, feeling the pinch of illegal western sanctions for Iranian nation only to appease Israel. USA knows for sure Iran ahs no nuke agenda.

In his prayer sermon, for example, Khamenei said there was “no injustice worse” than US labeling of the Iran-backed, Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah as “terrorists,” instead of “resistance” forces. “This is while they support the terrorist child-killing government of Zionism Israel,” he said.

It was the supreme leader, after all, who called for “heroic flexibility” in 2013 for nuclear deal, and thereby bolstering Iran’s negotiating team while giving them unprecedented support as “sons of the revolution.”

Put the records straight: in order to ease tensions with USA, Tehran had democratically replaced anti-US-Israel firebrand, but the highly popular president Ahmadinejad with a new president so that Washington could feel at ease with relations with Iran. USA became confident thanks to the regime change in Iran to enable fearless deal with Tehran.  Signals emanating from White House indicate that USA is on its way to remove Iran from the blacklist of rogue states and Axis of evils. President Obama has already shelved the “rogue state” concept for dealing with countries like Iran and instead framed it as an “outlier on international law” – an approach more to the liking of the international community.  The deal is expected to bring in the Iranian government’s transformation over the coming decade.

Iranians often differentiate between their warmth for the American people and their dislike for Washington’s policies, even during events such as Qods Day, which attracts mostly conservative, ideological crowds in cities across Iran to denounce Israeli policies toward Palestinians. But anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli sentiments have been pillars of Iran’s ideological outlook since 1979. If Khamenei is scathing toward the USA in his latest speeches, he is obviously implacable in his hatred for Israel.

Iranians themselves are often described as among the most pro-American populations in the region. In one small but typical example: During the annual Qods Day rally in Tehran on July 10, chants of “Death to America” rang out repeatedly. Israel, America’s close Middle East ally, was also pilloried and its natural end predicted in graphic posters and banners. But when one man asked this reporter where he was from and heard the reply, “America,” he opened his arms and gave a hug.

That tangled love-hate paradox lies at the heart of decades of mutual US-Iran hostility and efforts to undermine the other. Rhetorically, therefore, at least, the distance that still needs to be traveled is significant. But the nuclear agreement offers a possible path forward. “Of course the nuclear deal is a test for both sides, both for Iran as well as the United States, and both sides can show their faithfulness to their commitments,” says Gholam-Ali Haddadadel, a conservative former parliament speaker and presidential candidate who is close to the supreme leader. Logically, everything is possible, but practically it seems very difficult. Israel does not want that.

The challenges Iran is still facing are evident already. Even as the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that codifies aspects of the nuclear deal, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted in Iranian media as saying that parts of it “have clearly crossed the Islamic Republic’s red lines, especially in Iran’s military capabilities”.

Iran’s historical grievances include the CIA-orchestrated coup in 1953, US support for the pro-West shah and opposition to the revolution, and support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980s Iran-Iraq War. These and other events have “blurred” the vision of Iranians toward the USA. Americans too have a long list of grievances. If the deal is interpreted by Washington to “give permission for the US to come in and meddle again, it will never happen. If it is thought that this deal is the beginning of a future in which the walls of mistrust between Iran and the US will become lower and lower, this is possible, depending upon the behavior of the USA.

Meanwhile, the USA could find itself on the outs with the rest of the world if, after years of painstaking negotiations with other world powers, it ends up rejecting the Iran nuclear deal because that would essentially means America’s rejection of world peace, particularly peace in West Asia. Rejection of the deal would leave the US and Israel isolated, both in the region and internationally. That is especially true as Gulf Arab states appear to be coming to a consensus of support for the deal.  So, after its acceptance elsewhere as a fair deal if the USA rejects this agreement – the USA, not Iran, will become the issue again.

Repeated polls show a preference by US public for US-led diplomacy over go-it-alone super power military intervention. US Secretary of State John Kerry has been quick to issue warnings about the threat of America’s isolation, arguing within days of the deal’s signing in Vienna on July 14 that if Congress were to vote down the deal, “Our friends in this effort will desert us.” Kerry obviously has a very valid point.

A word world 

Holy month of Ramadan gave the world a golden opportunity to strive toward global peace by a historic nuclear deal. The deal allows both USA and Iran to shed the past and move on. While USA could emerge stronger, regaining a portion of its prestige lost since Sept-11 hoax, greater Iranian contact with the rest of the world will also empower those Iranians who see their country’s destiny as being part of the modern world, not in opposition to it.

Speculation grows inside and outside Iran that the nuclear deal could be a catalyst for broader US-Iran cooperation between the arch foes on other mutual interests, such as combating the self-described Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. There is a growing expectation in some quarters that the nuclear deal will ultimately transform Iran’s relations with the outside world, particularly with the USA.

As Iran overcomes its international isolation causing severe economic problems for Iran now, Israel, international isolation owing to its expansionist genocides in Gaza Palestine, is gradually slipping into worst ever occupational crisis as Washington and EU are now no more on its side on Palestine issue than  their “traditional ally” Israel. While EU is not at all favoring Israeli occupational tactics and crimes, USA has already begun moving away from Tel Aviv.  Israel’s predicament could eventually lead to help resolution of Mideast crisis resolution by establishing much delayed Palestine state at long last.

The deal marks “a new paradigm in the world” and “ends the cold war between Iran and the USA, and they will come to know each other more realistically. The nuclear agreement would therefore be a starting point for Iran to play new roles in the region and the world which makes a new responsibility for this country regarding global peace

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