A historic deal (Daily Times (Pakistan))

It was a historic moment when the deal between Iran and the west was signed. A lot of men in white coats from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will now be able to visit Iran, without sufficient prior warning, to check Iran’s nuclear plants as per the terms of the deal. However, the Israeli hardliner, Prime Minister (PM) Netanyahu seems to be on the side that has shown concerns and reservations over the recent deal between Iran and the six leading nations of the world in Vienna. PM Netanyahu labelled it a historic mistake and said that the deal with Iran poses a security threat, not only to the US but also to the whole world, especially Israel.

On the one hand, the world has praised the deal, including Pakistan’s foreign office. We have welcomed the nuclear deal because of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. The Saudis seems to have concerns over the deal as well because the US has joined hands with the Shia state of Iran in the Middle East leaving behind Saudi Arabia in the region. But, to date, no statement has been released from their side either positive or negative about the current deal.

Iran and the US-led coalition, after 13 years of a cold war and an aggressive diplomatic relationship, have entered into an agreement that would not have been possible without Iran’s honest efforts. At a glance, I applaud the efforts of the Iranian leaders, who decided to negotiate the nuclear deal with the leadership of western countries. The current leadership of Iran seems to be the best ever since the Islamic Revolution, almost three decades ago. The people of Iran have also welcomed the deal and are hoping for a decrease in unemployment, excepting economic improvement within the country. The European Union, US and their other allies have agreed to lift their sanctions, which were placed upon Iran years ago due to the advancement of its nuclear programme.

It is my opinion that the current nuclear deal between Iran and six leading nations will have very serious political implications. The politics in the Middle East will change rapidly, as will the intentions of states that follow the Sunni version of Islam, such as Saudi Arabia, and states that follow Shia Islam, for example Iran. Political and diplomatic relationships among these states will soon deteriorate and war between the two versions of Islam will certainly escalate in the Middle East. The Saudis surely have concerns and reservations about the deal with Iran, as the US supported Sunni Islam in the Middle East for years in exchange for strategic support during the Iraq war. Yet, in recent times, the US has supported the Shia version of Islam in dealing with Iran and helping alleviate its economic crisis by lifting sanctions. In plain words, it appears that the US has shut its doors for Sunni Muslim nations that gave their sons to the 9/11 crimes against humanity and provided the world with Osama bin Laden, which supported the Taliban and then the Sunni Islamists of Iraq and Syria. Now, Shia Iran is the good guy on the block.

Iran now has the historic opportunity to show its willingness to play a positive role in the Middle East and has the potential to influence volatile groups and leaders so that regional issues can be resolved through dialogue. Since Iran is in the good books of the west, it has to play the role of big brother in the Middle East. French President Francis Hollande, during the negotiations in Vienna, warned the leaders of the world that Iran may be deceptive and, therefore, they would have to keep an eye on it after finalising the deal. It is my opinion that Iran can, and no doubt will, have a say on Assad’s regime and participate in negotiations, along with the west, to determine the future of Syria as well. Arab sources that know the truth say that Mr Kerry and Zarif spend hours chatting about the future of Assad’s regime and Islamic State (IS) influence in the Middle East. The west seems to be on the same page as Iran and also wants Sunni Wahabi influence in the Middle East to be finished forever.

Foreign correspondent Robert Fisk says, IS, of course horrible, bloodthirsty apocalyptic Sunni Muslim ISIS will be almost as appalled as Netanyahu at Iran’s new deal. Netanyahu has always condemned Iran’s murderous aggression and regarded it as a heretical nation. Netanyahu seems to be unimpressed by the deal because it was unbearable for him to see Iran standing alongside western leaders during the Vienna negotiations. It is time for Iran to prove that it will honestly slow down, control its nuclear programme and abide by the terms of the nuclear deal. Iran is certainly a key player for the US in dealing with IS in the Middle East, especially in the Kurdish regions. It is my opinion that Iran will certainly follow the US’s policies concerning the Middle East but it may not give a clean chit to the Obama administration that quickly. The impact of the recent nuclear deal with Iran will be positive, as it will help boost economic growth, producing more jobs and opportunities for the general public.

In culmination, I submit that Shia Iran is the new ally of the west in the Middle East, leaving behind Sunni Wahhabi Saudi Arabia in the region. The US and its allies chose Iran as their new ally and supporter to implement their anti-IS agenda in the region effectively. The Sunni nations in the Middle East gave their sons to 9/11 and provided the world with bin Laden, due to which the US selection of Shia Iran is the right option to take the US agenda a step further in the region. Iran will now have a say on Assad’s regime and the future of Syria as well. The US has taken the side of Shia Islam in the Middle East, which is its new policy to deal with the rising influence of IS. This is the right opportunity for Iran to show the world that its influence can bring about a positive change in the region.