Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Contributor for In Homeland Security
Beyond a nuclear arrangement, the new deal that was set in motion by the P5+1 world powers (US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) and Iran, is really more about a shifting of alliances and interests as Saudi Arabia and Israel go their own way- much apart from the international community.
Washington and Tehran have just achieved a first substantial thawing of frozen relations in 30 years with a nuclear suspension and a lifting of economic sanctions. This is a phase one trial accord with possible expansion if successful.
What the six month nuclear arrangement means:
Iran must suspend any nuclear weapons program in existence. Iran must dilute uranium enrichment to 5% or destroy the stockpile of 20% enriched uranium within the six months time-frame.The agreement requires comprehensive and highly intrusive inspections.
In return, Iran will receive an easing of economic sanctions, allowing international trade with Iran to include: gold and precious metals, oil, automobiles and some limited access to civilian aircraft parts. Additionally, $4.2 billion in frozen assets will be released. A sum of $400 million will go to Iranian students’ tuition studying abroad.
Iranian economic stagnation and unemployment (now at 24%) are expected to be rejuvenated by this arrangement.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “We are pleased after 10 years that an agreement on this level has been reached.”
The official Saudi Arabia position is that, “The Saudi government has been very concerned about these negotiations with Iran and unhappy at the prospect of a deal with Iran.”
Iraq and Syria celebrated the Iran nuclear deal.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain welcomed it.
Israel called the agreement an “historic mistake.”
Israel has been adrift from the West for a while and that Saudi Arabia is now sailing away diplomatically, is an empirical fact that finds so many in denial within the US, but not in Europe. Both states are given substantial US support with the arms trade and or security assistance, yet neither state expresses the US national interest or reflects the critical changing of power shifts that must accommodate more of the region’s key players.
Not all in the US see this new level of trust building as a good thing. Senator Marco Rubio said, “This agreement shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands.”
Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that this deal is meant to ensure Israel’s protection and that it is not based on blind trust but will require an extensive verification process. His reasoning, in line with the Administration’s, is that it is better to put the program in reverse than to let it continue to go on in secret and void of diplomacy.
Aside from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vitriolic remarks targeting P5+1 and Iran, Israeli President Shimon Peres distinguished himself with a sharp contrast- extending an olive branch- “I would like to say to the Iranian people: You are not our enemies and we are not yours. There is a possibility to solve this issue diplomatically.”
Nothing to lose. If things go South and Iran breached the agreement, the Obama Administration has said that they would put all options on the table, including military action.