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The Iran Nuclear Deal: Rewriting the Middle East Map

Surveying today’s Middle Eastern and North African landscape offers few straws of hope. Iran’s reemergence producing a potential catalyst for a focus on core domestic political, economic and social issues could be one of those few straws. Whether Iran wittingly or unwittingly plays that role, the Middle East and North Africa are only likely to break their internecine cycle of violence and despair when the alternative becomes too costly. A resolution of the nuclear issue offers Iran far more than the ultimate lifting of crippling international sanctions. It would also allow Iran to capitalize on geostrategic gains it has made despite its international isolation. What worries opponents of the nuclear deal like Israel and Saudi Arabia most is the potential transformation of Iran from a game spoiler into a constructive player.

The Iran Nuclear Deal Rewriting the Middle East Map
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Affairs Representative Catherine Ashton negotiate in Geneva, Switzerland. UN Photo
 

Apreliminary agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia – plus Germany (P5+1), is set to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and ultimately reintegrate it into the international community. In doing so, it would not only remove the threat of a debilitating war with Iran and prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but also return the Islamic republic to the center stage of the region’s geo-politics.

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