As the U. S. wacks one mole of an issue in the Middle East, more emerge

In an effort that may have once been considered unthinkable, Iran and other world powers, including the United States, reached a deal Nov. 24 to halt any possible advancements of Iran’s nuclear deal.
The agreement, which included the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Great Britain will buy time to reach a final settlement with Iran, as well as increase the chances of negotiating a comprehensive approach to the conflict in Syria.
Especially following the election of a relatively moderate Iranian president in Hassan Rouhani, many believe this pact is the beginning of an overall thawing of the relationship between Iran and the United States.
Unfortunately, diplomacy is never an easy process, and possible repercussions of the deal are already being pointed out.
Most skeptics highlight the toll that the deal will take on the relationships betweenthe United States and its current strong allies in the region: Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Turkey primarily fears the potential of a Shiite alliance along its southern border comprised of Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Ankara will remain friendly to Washington as long as it is so dependent militarily, but the Turks will certainly remain wary of the situation and may seek help from other world powers such as China in order to achieve its goals.
The primary roadblock to peaceful relations between the United States and Iran in the past largely concerns American influence in the region and the existence of the state of Israel.
Now that progress has been made between the two, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has loudly voiced his concern over the agreement and his perception of Iran as a looming threat to Israeli national security.
The Saudis have been more discreet in their disapproval of the negotiations, but do in fact disapprove nonetheless.
Their refusal of a seat on the UN Security Council was largely aimed at the White House for lifting sanctions on Iran in their attempt to reach a nuclear agreement.
The Saudi government will undoubtedly keep an eye on U.S. relations with Tehran, its approach toward both Syria and Egypt andits ongoing policy regarding Palestine.
Does a healthier relationship between the United States and Iran do more harm than good for U.S. interests in the Middle East and the world?
Possibly, but one must first be realistic about what the nature of the aforementioned relationship would be.
Although Hassan Rouhani is undeniably more moderate than his predecessor, the Iranian government as a whole still remains skeptical of United States interests and alliances.
In addition, the United States will almost certainly not forego its key partnership with Saudi Arabia, the world’s leader in energy production, for closer ties with Iran.
The diplomatic achievement over nuclear weapons is certainly a step in the right direction, but for the United States, a meaningful and productive relationship with Iran is likely not in the near future.
Even though Tehran and Washington may not be the best of friends right away, the progress that has already been made is promising for a safer, nuclear-free Middle East and a United States foreign policy in the region that is more compliant with international law.
By effectively removing Iran as a nuclear threat and as an instigator within the Arab World, the United States can focus on easing the Sunni-Shiite tension in both Iraqand Syria, as well as working to end Israel occupation in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
While the Iranians and Americans will continue to have their differences, the image of the United States will greatly improve in the eyes of both Arabs and Muslims.
In sum, the United States’ relationship with Iran has improved as a result of the recent agreement reached in Geneva, but is far from perfect.
And although the Israelis, Saudis and Turks may be apprehensive about this new cooperation, the United States certainly will not abandon its longstanding allies in the region.
Rather, the United States will now be able to operate more freely and effectively in its effort to create a more peaceful Middle East.
Much is left to be decided by international politics and diplomacy, but this Iranian nuclear agreement opens many doors to a harmonious future.

Joey Versen is a senior political science and Arab & Islamic studies major from Scottsdale, Ariz. He can be reached at jverse01@villanova.edu.


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