US-Iran Nuclear Deal and Rapprochement: The Historic U.S Policy Paradigm Shift in the “Middle East” and BeyondAugust 14, 2015 12:00 am Leave your thoughts
With the belated signing of the Iran nuclear deal and the anticipated prospects of its ratifications and implementation, western foreign policy, spearheaded by the US, is undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift. As a result, its ramifications for the balance of power in the region will reverberate for decades to come. This is true for policies geared toward Southwest Asia where Iran – an ancient nation that for most its history ruled over the region currently comprising thirty five countries – is located. Exhaustive diplomatic negotiations and conflict resolution with our adversaries, before a superpower like the US preemptively resorts to military provocations as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan, have now become the expected modus operandi. The dilemma of one group’s freedom fighters labeled as terrorists by another group continues unresolved; however, a multi-jurisdictional approach to integrating international laws, logic, rationale, facts, human rights, equality, etc., while achieving justice should bring about an equitable resolution to any conflict.”
This unprecedented development of historic proportions has generated knee jerk reactions and much trepidation among conservative camps, warmongers and Israeli lobbyists in the US, as well as in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and ISIS. There is even percolating resentment against the nuclear deal among Iran’s entrenched ultraconservative organs which have benefited immensely from exploiting sanctions, driving black market profiteering for years while they have repressed political dissent and justice under the disguise of confronting western imperialism headed by the “Great Satan.’ The sheer fact that the majority of the world’s governments, NGOs and inhabitants have in principle supported the nuclear deal is immaterial to those few opposing it who, are pouring tens of billions of dollars to sabotage the deal and hastily forming unlikely alliances such as the one just announced between Israel and Saudi Arabia. After all, the religious or radical right, be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise, all walk along the same ultraconservative path of collusions and coercions to grab power and wealth through greed and by any means necessary.
”Israel, which has received unequivocal support from the US and its Arab and European allies since its inception nearly seventy years ago, has sensed the said US policy shift and thus feels gravely vulnerable. With the US now ranking number one in global oil, gas and coal production, the geo-strategical significance of the oil rich sheikdoms such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain and even historic Iran, is dwindling. The regime in Iran still remains domestically repressive with blatant violations of human, civil, and minority rights, due process and democratic reforms, and its practices of wasting human, natural and financial resources. Its support for radical Shiite proxies in the region is also part of its cynical policies. That said, every single government in the region, and many from outside the region, has orchestrated insurgencies and mercenaries to help their own ulterior motives. In that context, Iran’s [mis-]conducts are dwarfed compared to much more radical forces such as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and above all the so called ISIS/DAESH and their Sunni ideological and financial backers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Gravely concerned about Iran’s emerging regional influence, and as odd bedfellows as they may seem on the surface, Israel and the Arab governments cited above, especially Saudi Arabia, have formed military and intelligence coalitions to battle the influence of the more moderate Iran.
”Anchored on its historical heritage and with continuous governments several millennia in the making, Iran has not attacked any of its neighbours for the past 250 years. In fact, Iran has been subjected to numerous attacks the latest of which was the eight year catastrophic war imposed by Iraq and supported by Western powers. Iran can re-exert its regional stature when it fully abides by the terms of the nuclear deal and thus become a much more constructive nation through its domestic and international policies. This is predicated on its concerted efforts to ensure its sovereignty and security, based on the rule of law and due process, civil society and socio-economic and political reforms, transparency and accountability. And as much as any religion will periodically undergo reformations, reformation of its Shiite doctrine has been progressing in Iran for quite some time. A Sunni based reformation derived from the Wahhabi-Salafi-Shafei version of Saudi Arabia’s sharia laws, is close to impossible since Sunnism by its definition must exclusively abide with the pillars of the life and practices of Prophet Mohammad that included holy wars and jurisIslamic prudence 1,400 years ago. Megalomaniacal self-righteousness and each country in the region, including Israel and the US, acting as if it were a super moral authority and arbiter have further exacerbated the impasse.
Although the concept of creating a green (Sunni) Islamic belt, that stretched across northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and westbound into Turkey, was conceived by the US in the 1960s, and nurtured ideologically and financially by its ally Saudi Arabia, so as to prevent the Soviet Union from expanding its tentacles into the oil rich regions of the Persian Gulf, it backfired against western and American interests after the collapse of the USSR. in the early 90s.
Moreover, the Jews are a diverse ancient Semitic people with a rich heritage and seminal contributions to humanity since antiquity. They were rooted in today’s southern Iraq for their first few millennia along with their Arab step-brethren. Their joint patriarch, Abraham, was born in Ur. The Jewish tribes migrated into today’s territories east of the Mediterranean Sea 3,000 years ago. From there many moved voluntarily or by force to other regions of Asia, Europe, and to the US in the twentieth century. In fact, the Mizrahi Jews, 30,000 of whom still reside in Iran and up to 300,000 of whom reside in Israel and the US, are among the oldest Jewish communities. The Jewish population of Iran at its zenith nearly 1,500 years ago comprised a quarter of the population. The Persian and Jewish cultures and norms of life were almost identical, although their psyches have, with the passage of time, migrations and other historical predicaments, somewhat diverged.
Historically speaking, Jewish tribes remained somewhat isolated from other ethnic groups wherever they settled. They were subjected to a systematic degree of mistreatment and distrust. Their ordeals in the Arab and Islamic world, especially in the non-Arab Persia, do not come remotely close to the harsh systematic persecutions experienced elsewhere and maximised by the Holocaust inflicted by Europeans. Of the current Israeli population of 8.5 million, 75% are Jewish, half of whom are first generation (mostly European) immigrants. Upon closer examination of Israel’s Jewish demographics, one can easily discern stratification along racial and socioeconomic lines. Whereas the Ashkenazi Jews of Austro-Hungarian, Polish and Russian emigres are at the apex of power and wealth in Israel, the indigenous Sephardim and Mizrahi Jews of the immediate region are treated as inferior. The Ethiopian Jews are at the bottom of the food chain. The fact that nearly one million Palestinian Arabs and Christian Israeli citizens, as well as nearly five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, are under a harsh occupation seems irrelevant to mainstream Israel domestic policies. The fact that Israel possesses up to 400 undeclared nuclear warheads and long range ballistic missiles in its disproportionately huge military stockpiles, cannot be debated. Yet, Israel gives itself the inalienable moral authority to demand strong action against Iran. Why not enforce a nuclear weapons free zone across the entire region?”The abused are sometimes prone to become the abuser: it is as if the Jewish State has been inflicting a form of Holocaust on its Palestinian step-brethren for decades. Many Jewish scholars living in Israel and the US are fearful of the day when the America’s unequivocal support comes to an end. They therefore believe that as Israel is still in a position of strength, it should justly resolve the Palestinians’ plight by facilitating the process of creating a sovereign Palestinian state neighbouring a secure and prosperous Israel. Otherwise, if repeated efforts by the international community to establish two states living peacefully side by side remain futile, the inevitable solution would be to establish one secular united country encompassing both Israeli and Palestinian territories with a population of fifteen million where each person irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, and creed has equal rights. In the worst possible scenario – persecution or another holocaust – the nation of Iran would welcome the noble Jewish people with open arms and a warm heart to live amongst them peacefully. Yes, the Persians have rescued Jews a number of times throughout history and would do so again without hesitation.
The Author,”¯born in Iran into a diverse family comprised of Shiite and Sunni Muslims as well as Baha’i, Jewish, Armenian/Assyrian Christians and Zoroastrian lineage, is a naturalised American Professor who has resided in the US for nearly forty years. As a steward of nature, she has come to believe in, and advocate for secular universal humanism, equal [blind] justice and peace for all on earth.
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This post was written by Rachel Kohan