The contours of the Grand Bargain between the United States and Russia are becoming clearer as the the two countries are reassuming equal seats in maturing the deal. It is now also clear and evident that the Islamic Republic of Iran has become a cornerstone of the Great Bargain stretching from Afghanistan to the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and to Central Europe as well. Russia regained the prominence and weight it had occupied in the Soviet era of the two Super Powers because of the determination of President Vladimir Putin, but also due to President Barack Obama's acquiescence to reviving ??the balance of the two giants, rather than singling out the United States unipolar superpower status.
The «no war» President Barrack Obama dealt out of the equation any military action in dealing with Iran's nuclear program having dealt it out of responding to the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian war. The American decision in the Obama era is to reach an understanding with Russia -and China as well - not only on oil, gas, and strategic interests, but also on how confront Sunni extremism extending from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan and the five Islamic Republics in Central Asia. It is a quantum leap in U.S. relations with the countries of the Middle East and the Gulf. A leap that requires the veterans allies to absorb the meaning of what occurred in the American-Iranian relationship; to study the evolving Merican-Iranian relations without panicking.
Perhaps in the folds of the recent historical developments in the American relationship - Iranian windows to the necessary reform of the traditional relations: the US - Arab relations as well as the American - Israeli. Certainly, there is an urgent need to revisit the old strategies of proxy wars whether they are launched for the purpose of regional competition or in the context of Sunni - Shiite confrontation.
The agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, and France - plus Germany on the Iranian nuclear program tops the unequivocal priority of the six countries. These countries put all other matter in the second or third rank. The Syrian issue fell from the ladder of priorities. Syria's neighbors are no longer of interest to the six countries. Jordan is secured and guaranteed by the United States. Lebanon does finds only indifference. Iraq is practically a foregone conclusion in favor of Iran.
The most significant paradigm shift occurred in the American-Iranian relationship as well as in the U.S. strategy toward the Middle East be it towards Israel or towards the Arab oil states. The Iranian priorities have been met. One priority is establishing a direct bilateral relationship with the US based on an American legitimizing of the Mullahs revolution in Tehran (launched in 1979,) and a pledge not to support any opposition or any efforts to overthrow the Tehran-based theocracy of religious rule. President Barack Obama pledged he would deliver on this priority.
The nuclear negotiating process will be complex and volatile sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. But in the end, as during the negotiating process, the Islamic Republic of Iran will adhere to the negotiating table whatever happened. That table is now a dear through which sanctions imposed on Iran would be eased or lifted. This is exactly what forms the basis of the Iranian strategy. The table is the means to save the economy in Iran. The table is the carpet that Iranians know only too well how to make patiently. It is the at that table that the famous Iranian art of negotiation will take place. This is a new reality that will continue for a long time to come no matter what happens- whether this is a crack here or a retreat there.
Tehran is fully aware that the negotiating table is also the Western country's prison, especially the United States. Tehran will be sure to manipulate the table accordingly. The Obama Administration gave Iran and Russia their victory in the Middle East. It retreated from the stated goal of overthrowing the regime in Damascus. It pledged to withhold any support for regime change in Tehran. Absorbing the meaning of this radical shift in U.S. policy is not easy, but it is profoundly necessary.
The American President bowed practically to the ideology of imposing religion on the State, as did the mullahs in Tehran. The American President is also now party to the de facto alliance with Iran and Russia against Sunni extremism wherever it is. By doing so, the Obama administration has opened the door to the export of the ideology of the Iranian theocracy to the neighborhood. By doing so, the Obama Administration decided to adopt what was started by the administration of George W. Bush, which is to partner in with Iran in it's war on Al-Qaeda and its likes- but this time in reaching understandings with Russia and China as well.
Collaboration between the U.S., Russia, China and Iran to prevent the revival of Sunni extremism in Afghanistan or it's growth in Pakistan is an important part in the new emerging map. Saudi- Iranian competition for influence in those countries has now different parameters in light of the strengthened American - Iranian Detante. Iran is present in all the equations, including in the battle for influence in Central Europe between the United States and Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quick to declare in the wake of the nuclear deal with Iran that the agreement eliminates the need for the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) projects for ballistic missiles in Europe. He said that the logic invoked by the United States to establish a missile shield-that is facing the challenge of Iranian missiles- does not stand any more. He said that such a pretext lost its logic after the agreement with Iran. This is how Iran has become the gateway to address the dispute between the U.S. and the Russian Federation on the ballistic missile projects in Eastern Europe.
With the rise and influence of Iran in the relationship with the West in general and in the context of the American - Russian relationship, the traditional balance of power underwent a shock; the traditional Middle East allies of the US were shaken. The qualitative leap in the relationship between the U.S. and Iran, ....
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