What a possible deal with Iran says about the West

The tone of speeches made by world leaders at the UN General Assembly last week and on the sidelines of inter-ministerial meetings suggests that preparations to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers have come to an end. accelerated.

Amid reports that talks could resume in Vienna in two weeks, a process is underway to remove all obstacles to the nuclear issue, including possibly lifting all significant sanctions against Iran. Ideas for dealing with Tehran’s controversial ballistic missile program are also under discussion. Agreement is sought to limit Iran’s long-range missile program while allowing it to maintain short- and medium-range missiles essential to its regional projects.

With Europeans and Americans appearing willing to allow Iran to pursue these projects, countries in the region are starting to reposition themselves accordingly.

The Assad regime in Syria could be one of the biggest beneficiaries, in large part thanks to the efforts of Russia, the United States, Europe and the major Arab states to end the civil war there. lasted ten years. Only Turkey seems to be singing a different tune, for reasons related to Russian insistence on Ankara’s exit from Syria.

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Iraqi President Barham Salih’s recent remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York are instructive.

He said the United States and Russia are talking about collaboration in Syria. Referring to years of efforts by the West and its regional allies to remove the Assad regime from power, Salih said the international community “must have the courage to admit that the current policy has totally, totally failed “. “The government is still there and you have thousands and thousands of activists [who are] well armed [belonging to] Al Qaeda, ISIS, you name it, all kinds of manifestations and variations of this virus. “

Subsequently, Mr. Salih called on the region to “embrace this dynamic in Syria”. He added: “We in Iraq are opening up to the Syrian government and trying to open channels and encourage aid and relief to the Syrian people. We want to focus on dealing with the extremist issue in some of those areas of Syria, which pose a direct threat to the security of Iraq and the neighborhood. “

Russia, an ally of the Syrian regime, will undoubtedly be pleased with these developments and statements as it attempts to mobilize political and financial support for reconstruction and the fight against extremism there.

The King of Saudi Arabia, for his part, has raised hopes for a serious dialogue with Iran, in particular with a new president in power in Tehran and the relaunch of the nuclear deal more and more likely. King Salman has expressed a desire for reconciliation, but on condition that it constitutes a roadmap for positive Saudi-Iranian relations, while reserving the right to question Tehran’s objectives and policies internally. Arab countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where it has established proxy militias and engaged in subterfuge.

For his part, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has lectured Washington at the UN, while claiming his innocence over its nuclear, anti-missile and expansionist activities. He questioned the intentions of the Biden administration, setting a hard line but only half-heartedly, as Iran prepares to return to the Vienna talks and backs down on its terms for the full lifting of sanctions first. .

The regime knows that its interests require the lifting of economic sanctions as a priority and follows the advice of Russia and China while capitalizing on Europe’s eagerness to change the nature of its relations with Tehran. Indeed, the Europeans, led by the Germans, Italians and French, told the Iranians that they wanted a new approach to their relationship based on peaceful coexistence.

In other words, Europe wants an affinity relationship based on mutual economic interests and European tolerance of Iran’s regional policies, in return for Tehran to refrain from extreme measures that would put Europe in the spotlight. embarrassment – for example, by supporting terrorism or by acting in such a way as to lead to vague refugees to Europe. In return for all this, Iran will obtain European support for the lifting of what remains of the sanctions against Iran and the political rehabilitation of the latter in the international community.

Europeans, it seems, want to play a key role on Iranian issues, which they believe can help shape regional equations. But as a result, small countries in the region are likely to suffer, especially Lebanon.

Judging by Europe’s intentions, it looks like its member states will not interfere with Hezbollah’s complete domination over the Lebanese state. In Syria, Europe is supporting the rehabilitation of the Assad regime and working with the United States to that end.

How will this be reflected in Lebanon, and could it lead to the return of Syrian rule over the country’s politics, either directly or through Hezbollah? Well, all that matters to Europeans is that Lebanon does not collapse, even if the necessary political reforms are not carried out in the country. In fact, the policies of France and Europe have led to the consolidation of the Lebanese political class, despite its corruption and attacks on accountability.

Europeans and Americans have paid little attention to the personal attacks on Tarek Bitar, the Lebanese judge investigating the Beirut port explosion last year. They have effectively condoned impunity for what is a crime against humanity and political, sectarian and partisan attacks against a man doing his duty to reveal the identity of those responsible for the explosion.

In his speech to the UN, US President Joe Biden put diplomacy before confrontation. Yet despite his election promises to protect human rights and justice everywhere, he now stands idly by as Hezbollah launches bold threats against Mr. Bitar and similar attempts to undermine the rule of law.

Mr Biden’s promises are fading into thin air, perhaps because of his fears that any move on his part to put pressure on Beirut to end impunities of all kinds could thwart a deal with the bosses of the country. Hezbollah in Iran.

Posted: Sep 26, 2021, 05:00 AM

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