by Tahir Mustafa (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 6, Shawwal, 1436)
Whether the deal between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries holds will depend largely on the conduct of the US. Initial signs (UN Security Council resolution 2231 of July 20 unanimously approved by all 15 members endorsing the July 14 agreement signed in Vienna, for instance) are hopeful despite contradictory statements by American officials, especially US Secretary of State John Kerry. President Barack Obama and his top diplomat face a dilemma because they have to satisfy different constituencies with divergent agendas. Both have admitted that no better deal was possible (in a direct challenge to Zionist ranting) and that sanctions had failed to bring Iran to its knees although Kerry contradicted himself during his Senate appearance to pacify hawkish senators in the Zionists’ pocket.
The agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries has been compared to Richard Nixon’s opening to China in 1972 and Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT) with the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1987. Such comparisons, however, have limits. The earlier ones were bilateral agreements between the US and China on the one hand and the Soviet Union on other. In the latest agreement, Iranian diplomats singlehandedly negotiated with not one but seven different representatives if we include the European Union representative Frederica Mogherini as well.
Regardless of the final outcome of the agreement and whether it will be fully implemented by all sides — American and European officials are notorious for breaking promises, even signed before the entire world — the deal has established some fundamental principles. Islamic Iran has been recognized as a leading regional power that cannot be cowed by military threats or sanctions. Instead, it has come out stronger despite these hurdles placed in its path toward progress.
The seismic changes are already evident in the manner in which Western businessmen have made a beeline to Tehran with bulging briefcases carrying proposals for lucrative deals. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of contracts are anticipated. Iran’s oil and gas industry will lead the investment bonanza but there are other fields as well: aviation, transportation and other sectors of industry.
The real changes, however, are on the political front. The grief in Riyadh and Tel Aviv points to this reality. These pariah regimes cannot live in peace with others, especially Islamic Iran that refuses to surrender its rights to any worldly power. Not surprisingly the two illegitimate regimes, one occupying the holy land of the Arabian Peninsula and the other the holy land of Palestine, are clinging to each other for solace. Both can see their end clearly on the horizon.
Other regional countries have shown greater maturity. Oman has come out solidly on the side of truth and justice. It has refused to join the Saudi-led anti-Iran alliance. Kuwait and Qatar have also been more forthcoming. Iran has been equally gracious. It is not throwing its weight about; instead it has reached out to these countries to reassure them that Islamic Iran wants to have cordial relations with all neighbors. To prove this, Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr. Javad Zarif was on the move. On July 26, he visited Kuwait and had a detailed meeting with the Amir of Kuwait, Shaykh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah in the Seif Palace in Kuwait City. Dr. Zarif briefed the Kuwaiti amir, who had visited Tehran last June, on the contents of the agreement as well as Iran’s desire for friendly relations.
Even with countries hostile to Tehran — “Saudi” Arabia and its tiny allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — Iran has extended a hand of friendship and relations based on principles of mutual respect. Of the two smaller neighbors, the UAE wants to improve ties but is constrained by fear of upsetting big brother “Saudi” Arabia. This regime’s shelf life is due to expire. It is trapped in Yemen despite causing massive civilian casualties. There is deep unease internally and many people inside the Kingdom not blinded by hatred can see the writing on the wall. “Saudi” Arabia is now part of the past and an aberration; Islamic Iran is the future. The Najdi Bedouins should purchase tents and prepare to move back to Dar‘iyah from whence they erupted more than 270 years ago. Interestingly, they refurbished old houses there only recently. Are we to assume that even they have realized the grim reality facing them?
It is, however, the Zionist regime that finds itself on the wrong side of history. It has always been on the wrong side because it illegally occupies the land of other people. But now there is much greater realization even in the US, which has been its traditional supporter and financier. True, the US is not going to abandon the Zionist entity soon, not because of love but because the Zionist lobby in the US has not been degraded enough.
Within days of signing of the agreement with Iran, Obama dispatched his Secretary of Defence (Offence?) Ashton Carter to Tel Aviv to promise additional weapons to the Zionist State. It already receives $3 billion in weapons annually in addition to the trainloads of dollars that are shoveled annually into the parasitic state by American pro-Israeli groups. The US Congress cannot seem to do enough for their favorite country — Zionist Israel — even if tens of millions of Americans (50 million) languish in poverty.
Weapons alone, however, cannot prevent defeat or assure victory as the Zionists found to their cost in Lebanon in 2006. They also failed to achieve their policy objectives in successive assaults on the tiny Gaza Strip in 2008–2009, 2012, and again in 2014. True, they caused immense damage to the impoverished enclave but killing a large number of people including many children and destroying the enclave’s infrastructure are no signs of bravery and do not guarantee victory.
Officials in both Tel Aviv and Riyadh know that history has moved on. Commentaries over the last two weeks from different quarters — Moscow, Istanbul, London, Brussels, Paris and even Islamabad — all clearly point to the fact that Islamic Iran is the new reality. Those that are not on the side of Tehran are on the wrong side of history.
It was the poet-philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, who in one of his memorable couplets had said,
Tehran ho agar alam-e mashriq ka Geneva (If Tehran became the Geneva of the Muslim world, referring to the League of Nations headquarters in Geneva in the 1930s),
Sha’id quraa-e ardh ki taqdeer badal jai (Perhaps the destiny of the world will change).
After the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Islamic Iran had become the leading edge of the Islamic movement. Those without blinkers on their eyes had recognized this a long time ago. Others have just woken up to this fact. The US, the leading imperialist and militarist power in the world, has also had to eat humble pie and admit to this reality.
The sooner the naysayers come to grips with this reality, the better for the world. History, however, has no time for losers. They will be left behind as the world moves on.