Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Nuclear Deal is a paradigm shift for Iran, U.S., China, and Israeli relationship

Near East Center for Strategic Engagement - July 14, 2015

Since the beginning of talks with Iran concerning its nuclear program, the NEC-SE has been the leading voice in asserting that the negotiations and any resulting deal were tied to the economic realities facing both the U.S. and China.
Today the U.S. and Iran concluded a long-term economic agreement that has shifted the paradigm in the U.S. policy from containment to economic partnership with Iran and a strategic economic relationship with China. As a result, the U.S. will gain access to Iranian oil and other markets and in doing so provide Iran with a steady buyer for its crude and provide capital investment in other sectors of its economy.
Although this arrangement will benefit both nations, Iran will get the better of it in the form of a revitalized economy and, by extension, enhanced political and military power. This support will come from Russia but more importantly will help China to stabilize its economy and open the markets of the Middle East for weapon sales for Chinas expanding weapons sale capability in the Middle East through Iranian markets. For this reason, the deal with Iran will affect America’s relationship with the Sunni states of the Middle East as well as with its closest ally in the region, Israel who is currently reliant on having to choose between China and other possible enduring partners within the Middle East. Israel is now in a place that it has to choose China over any other economic power who was hoping to expand their market footprints within the region.
Some will argue that this is not an economic agreement. But that begs the question: how is it that Iran could negotiate across the the table with the I-5 nations over a weapon that it never possessed and would not possess in the foreseeable future if the status quo of sanctions plus the threat of military action against its nuclear facilities were to remain place?