Iran deal: New chapter? Or horror story?

HighRep Federica Mogherini:  This decision is not only on Iran’s nuclear program, it’s much more, can open a new chapter in international relations. In your opinion, how much is it realistic to expect that it will really open a new chapter in international relations and what kind of chapter? Read few comments.

Barbara SlavinSenior Fellow, The Atlantic Council

Yes, I believe this is a turning point in history with a potential similar to US-USSR detente and the US-China opening. While the U.S. and Iran will remain at odds over many issues, it will now be easier to include Iran in diplomacy aimed at resolving other crises such as the Syrian war. Israel and the Arabs will complain but there is no realistic better alternative to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran is too important to ignore in the region and the diplomatic precedent set is surely better than the use of force which has only made things worse.

Jonathan SchanzerVice President of Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

There is very little opportunity to open up a new chapter with Iran so long as the current regime remains in place. If anything, this deal will offer a massive financial windfall to this regime, which will make it harder to topple, while also giving it the resources to outsource terrorism to its proxies across the region. In other words, a nuclear standoff may have been temporarily averted (perhaps for a decade, if we lucky), but the likelihood of regional conflict sparked by this regime is now greater.

Sara Bazoobandi, Lecturer in International Political Economy, Regent’s University London, Associate Fellow, Middle East North Africa Program Chatham House

It is indeed a new chapter. It’s a great global achievement through diplomacy to resolve an issue which would have otherwise led to more war and crisis in an already volatile region. It would be the first time in the history of the UNSC that the chapter 7 sanctions will be lifted without military intervention.

It is however, not the end of the crisis. It will require all parties involved a great deal of effort to deliver their promises and continue building trust.

The deal will require the support of the constituents of all parties involved, particularly Iran and US. Therefore, I do strongly believe that as foreign minister Zarif mentioned earlier today: it is not a prefect deal for anyone, but it’s the best possible!

Ahron BregmanDepartment of War Studies, King’s College London

​Indeed I agree. The deal should not be regarded as a technical arrangement between the West and Iran, but as a real possibility of a new chapter in international relations. The negotiations with Iran have given her an international legitimacy. For the first time since the 1979 revolution Iran was accepted as an equal partner in negotiations with the West. I believe that in the coming future, the West – led by Washington – will try to recruit Iran to promote what the West regards as the preferred way forward in a Middle East which is undergoing an earthquake which can only be compared to the French or the Russian revolution. The growing importance of Iran for the West comes, in many ways, at the expense of Israel. Iran can be more effective in promoting Western interests in the Middle East than Israel. I would add that one of the most important achievements, at least from an Iranian perspective, is her success in driving a wedge between Israel and the White House.

Michael RubinResident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Senior Lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations

If this deal opens a new chapter, it’s for a horror story. Iran convinced naive European and American diplomats not only to keep its infrastructure intact, but to effectively pay for more than a decades’ worth of covert and illicit nuclear investment. They will not name buildings after Mogherini; they will name graveyards.

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Chair, Centre for Iranian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

An agreement would be nothing but historic and the biggest news since the Iraq war. If domestic politics can okay along and the current bout of rational choice prevails, a tactical agreement will turn into a rather more strategic rapprochement in other fields as well.

James Goode, Professor of History, Grand Valley State University

If this agreement is approved and becomes operational, it could, indeed, begin a new and productive chapter in US-Iran relations.  Just as there are many hardliners in both countries (and in Israel and Saudi Arabia as well), who will lobby against the Vienna pact, there are also many individuals of goodwill, who see this as an opportunity to develop relations at many levels.  These relationships have been minimal for the past 35 years; now much will become possible.  I say this in particular in regard to people-to-people relationships.  Americans need to have more direct experience with Iran and Iranians.  This, I believe, will help to disabuse them of stereotypes and prejudices that have evolved almost unchallenged for decades.  This is a time when we must look at the glass half full.  As an educator, I look forward to the possibility of being able to take groups of students to Iran in the not-so-distant future.  I have planned for this for many years, and now it just might become a reality.





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