Forces of Diplomacy Stronger After Deal

Forces of Diplomacy Stronger After Deal Forces of Diplomacy Stronger After Deal

Contrary to warmongers' arguments, the forces of diplomacy and political solutions are now stronger after the recent nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist and former professor of journalism at Princeton University, wrote in a recent opinion piece for Al Jazeera.   

Unhappy with the agreement, US Republicans and Israel are focusing the bulk of their opposition on two fronts. For them, the agreement fails to totally eliminate the Iranian nuclear capacity. They also believe that the lifting of sanctions might potentially cause further havoc in the Middle East.

While many scientists, former diplomats and members of the intelligence community in the US and Israel have spoken publicly about the technical parts of the deal, few have tackled the unproven claims that a sanctions-free Iran will create further troubles in an already burning region.  

Opponents rattle that the influx of billions of dollars into Iran's coffers will somehow encourage Iranians to expand their influence in the region.

The events and actions of Tehran and the reactions in the region ever since the signing of the agreement in Vienna last month point in the opposite direction. A look at the Syrian, Yemeni and Palestinian conflicts all point to the fact that the agreement has been playing a positive, rather than a negative, role.

  Changing Dynamics

In the Syrian conflict, where the Iranians and Russians have supported Bashar al-Assad ever since the conflict began, Iran reportedly succeeded in brokering a 48-hour ceasefire in three important cities on August 12, a day before a visit by Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the Syrian capital.

In Yemen, popular forces loyal to president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have been making gains mostly in the south of the country.  

But the much talked about alliance between the Houthis and Iran - who were expected to move in support of their co-religious Yemenis - has never surfaced. No strong evidence shows that Tehran is aiding the anti-Hadi forces. On the contrary, the Iranians have been supportive of the UN-led peace talks in Geneva and are not viewed as serving much of a role in that crisis.

On the Palestinian front, a senior Palestinian Liberation Organization leader visiting Tehran said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit Iran in the coming two months.

These developments in the aftermath of the nuclear deal signal that Iran is a force of moderation - rather than extremism - in the Middle East. A more confident Iran that does not feel an existential threat from the US should not be seen as the troublemaker in region.

Another reason for a relative ease at some conflict hot spots in the region since the agreement is the fact that local fighters are finally seeing a unified international will. The 48-hour ceasefire in Syria with the Iranian initiative was a starting point. While the agreement in the Vienna deal does not deal with any of the other ongoing issues in the Middle East, the unification of the international community for finding a diplomatic solution to this particularly difficult nuclear issue sends a powerful message to the region at large.

Civil wars are often perpetuated as a result of direct or indirect regional and international interventions. So long as the world community is divided, this division is often reflected on the ground in places like Syria, Yemen and Libya.

However, when the same fighters see their sponsors and the sponsors of their enemies establishing dialogue channels and signing treaties, they quickly realize that they cannot depend on their patrons forever.

The Iran deal is an important watershed in global efforts for peace. It shows that diplomacy still has a place in solving global conflicts.

Wars often become inevitable when diplomacy and the art of resolving conflicts fail.

Those who oppose the Iran deal need only to look at the immediate results in the region to realize that the deal has already contributed to an easing of tensions and a spike in diplomatic activities.

Contrary to opponents of the deal, who claim that it will inflame the region, the developments make sure that a post-deal Iran is playing a much more moderating role than before.