The plausible normalisation of U.S.-Iran Diplomatic Relations: Who are the losers and winners?
by Rachel Kohan
Thu 26th Mar 2015
As the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 countries and Iran approach the deadline of March 31st, two divergent groups have emerged worldwide which envision the possible outcome as contrary or affirmative to their special interests. Whereas the ones opposing such a breakthrough are highly organised, well financed and combatively vocal, those gaining from the plausible affirmative outcome are agnostically ambivalent or low keyed in ensuring their voices are clearly and loudly heard. The losers and winners are categorised as follows:
Israel: The current political incumbents headed by Bibi Netanyahu are most apprehensive of a possible breakthrough between the U.S. and Iran. Their trepidation is anchored to their longstanding expectation to posit Israel as the only reliable ally of the U.S. in the region; Israelis hope to continue receiving billions of dollars in economic and military aid subsidised by ordinary American taxpayers. Israel cannot any longer dodge resolving the Palestinian issue as it either has to commit to two equal side by side secure sovereign states, or simply acquiesce to one secular state of nearly fifteen million where every citizen has one equal vote and equal opportunities.
Iran: The more influential, radical and fundamentalist elements within the Islamic Republic regime in Iran will feel most vulnerable if and when a breakthrough is reached. These hardline elements have held a socio-economic and political grip on the country since the revolution of 1979, on the premise that they are battling the “Great Satan”, the U.S. In doing so, they have wasted the natural, financial and human resources of the nation to the tune of several trillion dollars and repressed the human rights of many ordinary citizens. A million were killed in a futile war with Iraq, hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have been tortured and killed, millions are in involuntary exile, and democracy and freedoms have been quenched. The rhetorical slogans of the hardliners would lose their last fading shade of colour if a breakthrough materialises. Last, this same group has collected the spoils and spread their net of influence when American military forces left Afghanistan and Iraq after suffering heavy human and financial losses.
USA: The more conservative and frankly most influential wing of the U.S. government, along with their military-industrial complex, the staunch supporters of Israel and Saudi Arabia, and the nearly 100 million Americans who believe in the bible literally, will lose dominance on the economic and political stage, since they do not wish to witness regional political stability in Iran’s spheres of west Asia.
Russia: After the Crimean referendum and the negative reaction from the West, Russia has to finance its ever expanding sphere of influence and be able to function despite new western economic sanctions. In doing so, Russia would make sure to sabotage any possible last minute resolution with Iran to continue raising the already slashed price of oil and gas exports, that is, its main source of income. Imagine what the ramifications against Russia would be when Iran quadruples its oil and gas production following a massive infusion of western/U.S. technologies after the nuclear breakthrough. It would be inconceivable for Iran to continue depending on Russia for its nuclear or other developments when it could procure the same from the much more advanced American technological providers.
Saudi Arabia: Many consider Saudi Arabia and its satellite sheikdoms (the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman) to be the major losers if there is indeed a breakthrough between the U.S. and Iran. Iran will regain its historical regional leadership role especially in OPEC, expand its oil and gas production and export; and further diminish the Saudi’s socio-economic and political role in the region. What will devastate the Saudis the most is the upper hand of the Shiites’ ideological, political and military forces backed up by Iran in the battle to neutralise the military and theological dominance which the Saudis had hoped to achieve through their exorbitant financing and training of Sunni Safaii-Wahhabi terrorist guerrillas such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
USA.: Following a normalisation of relations with Iran, the U.S. and its allies will benefit from an organically grown regional stability where a heavy military presence or financing of so-called allies such as Israel or Saudi Arabia will no longer be needed. Diplomatic rapprochement with Iran will also usher in a new era of magnanimous trade beneficial to both sides.
Iran: Following a normalisation of relations with the U.S., Iran must inevitably reexamine its constitution for a much anticipated revision and ratification through a referendum. It could no longer repress human rights, freedoms, social reforms, and cultural modernisation under the xenophobic disguise of battling the “great Satan.” The full sovereignty and dignity of the nearly 80 million Iranian citizens will be regained. Transparency, accountability, sustainability, checks and balances and the rule of law and civil society and justice will have to once again be reinstated in Iran. Finally through a rational legal system, the perpetrators who inflicted miseries and catastrophes upon the nation over the past 35 years must be tried and justly convicted. Tourism alone would within a decade surpass all other national domestic products and exports in Iran combined.
European Union: With the economic stalemate currently in Europe, a new era of expanded economic trade with Iran and west Asia will ensue.
China and East Asia: China, India, the two Koreas and Japan will secure a stable long term commitment to meeting their energy needs from west Asia, particularly from Iran. They will also broaden and secure their economic ties through opening up new markets in west Asia.
Israel: Israel in the long run will regain the trust of its historical ally, Iran, after it resolves its own lingering impasse with its Palestinian brethren. This will allow Israel to solely focus on its economic development and scientific and technological marvels. In the long run, especially when U.S. and western support wanes for Israel, Iran will be the only ally for Israel to counter-balance the exponentially increasing influence of Arab regimes.
In summary, the gains to all sides from a nuclear resolution and the strategically inevitable normalisation of relations between the U.S. and Iran will far outweigh the collective perceived losses. The alternative status quo or, even worse, a military standoff is far more costly and devastating to all sides concerned.
The Author, born in Iran in a diverse family comprised of the Shiite and Sunni Muslims as well as Baha’i, Jewish, Armenian/Assyrian Christian and Zoroastrian lineage, is a naturalized American who has resided in the U.S. for nearly forty years. As the steward of nature, she has come to believe in and advocate for secular universal humanism and equal [blind] justice for all on earth.