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Geopolitical Shifts Demand Nuclear Settlement
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Geopolitical Shifts Demand Nuclear Settlement

In a recent article published by Al-Monitor, former diplomat Hossein Mousavian has commented that a final nuclear agreement between Iran and the major powers could pave the way for cooperation between Iran and the West to restore stability in the region and the broader Muslim world.
Mousavian was the ambassador to Germany from 1990 to 1997 and served as a top nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005. He is now a research scholar at Princeton University and is believed to have close connections with the foreign ministry and diplomatic circles.
He said, "As a result of the tectonic developments in the Middle East in recent years, the geopolitics of the region has shifted significantly. Amid 35 years of all-out sanctions and pressure on Iran, the outcomes of the Middle East’s ebbs and flows include Iran’s emergence as the most stable country in the area and as a regional power, Arab countries either in turmoil or vulnerable to unrest and destabilization and the unprecedented rise of violent extremist groups. These developments could serve as the impetus for an Iranian-Western rapprochement, despite the inconclusive talks in Vienna (the most recent round of talks on a final nuclear accord which was held from November 18-24)."
The (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council — composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — cannot counterbalance Iran due to its sheer natural weight, leverage and power in the region, he said, adding that the 22-member Arab League, the symbol of the Arabs’ unity and power, has practically collapsed and is largely irrelevant.
  Absence of Regional Cooperation Platform        
"Adding to this picture, Washington’s strategic shift toward East Asia will naturally decrease the US role in the Middle East. In such an eventuality, and in the absence of a regional cooperation platform for restoring stability and protecting the peace, a vacuum could emerge with no single country able to fill it."
He said the rise of Sunni extremists employing terrorism is the number one threat to international security, adding that in assessing various alternatives for confronting extremist groups, such as the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, the West may realize that Iran is the region’s most resourceful and most motivated country in this regard.
Elsewhere, he said, "On the trade front, Europeans now more than ever want a deal with Iran so the sanctions against it can be lifted. Moreover, the European Union has little choice but to find alternative sources for natural gas to hedge against Russia cutting or severing its supply. Iran could serve as such a supplier."
In conclusion, Mousavian said, "Against the backdrop of the grim state of so many Middle Eastern countries and Iran’s emergence as a stable regional power most naturally suited for combating terrorism, an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, United States and Germany — could pave the way for cooperation between Iran and the West to restore stability in the region and the broader Muslim world… A face-saving nuclear deal could provide an opportunity for creative diplomacy to replace the 35-year-old regional cold war with peaceful coexistence and the establishment of a regional cooperation system among the (P)GCC states, Iran and Iraq."

 

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