Iran Deal- Dangerous Implications
President Barack Obama’s insistence on a negotiated deal with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program could have greater implications beyond the eventual “Jihadist-state-with-a-nuke.” (If they do not have one already!) The phrase “unintended consequences” takes on an even darker meaning when it is thrown into the powder keg of geo-politics in the Middle East:
Tehran (AP)- As world powers edge toward a possible nuclear deal with Iran, the debate has been dominated by the question of whether it leaves an opening for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. But an accord could have another profound impact: Is this the beginning of the Islamic Republic’s broad acceptance by the community of nations?
In the region, Western-allied and oil-rich Sunni-ruled Gulf states deeply distrust the non-Arab Shiite powerhouse and see its hand in destabilizing their part of the world by backing armed groups from Lebanon to Yemen to Iraq. That distrust fuels sectarian divisions that course through many of the region’s conflicts and get exploited by extremist organizations including the Islamic State group, which considers Shiites heretics.
A deal could worsen those tensions. Arab powers like Saudi Arabia and Egypt might conclude Iran has been allowed to stand on the threshold of a nuclear weapon and decide that they, too, must have nuclear programs — further inflaming the world’s most combustible tinderbox.
But it would also remove a giant obstacle in Iran’s dealings with the world. The West’s nuclear fears long ensured consensus around isolating Iran. With that removed, calls will likely increase for engagement with Iran to resolve other disputes. All this could also alter Iran’s domestic politics in unpredictable ways.
For Western thinkers and policymakers, Iran presents a challenge. On one hand, it’s the modern manifestation of a proud Persian civilization, a potentially lucrative market and the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves. On the other, even after a deal, for many it would remain a global menace, a regional meddler and oppressor of its people.