Israeli and Saudi bitterness About the Iran deal

Iran signed a nuclear deal with major world powers: the US, Germany, France, Russia, UK and China on Tuesday. This deal was in the pipeline for quite some time. After Hassan Rouhani assumed the office of President of the Islamic Republic in 2103, there has been a marked shift in Tehran’s relationship with the major world powers. The current deal with these powers is a culmination of that policy adopted by Iran to get itself out of the economic and political isolation that has been forced upon it since the beginning of the Islamic revolution. It would be in place here to mention that Iran has suffered stifling economic sanctions for the last 36 years, after the Shah of Iran was overthrown in a popular uprising in 1979.

The western powers along with Israel and Saudi Arabia have off late been accusing Iran of nurturing a nuclear dream. They have accused Iran of working towards developing nuclear weapons whereas Iran has always denied these allegations maintaining that its nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes. It should be reiterated here that Iran’s supreme religious guide Ayatullah Syed Ali Khamenei in an edict in 2003 declared the use of nuclear weapons as Haraam (illegal). Iran has consistently maintained that they were not pursuing nuclear weapons and hence the present deal should not be seen as abandoning Iran’s own long stated policy. In fact it is a continuation of their stated goals. It must also be kept in mind that the sanctions against Iran were not against their purported nuclear ambitions but they started right after the 1979 Revolution.

All the major global powers including US and Germany have welcomed this deal.  German Foreign Minister Steinnmeier was euphoric. ‘’A historic day. We have 35 years of speechlessness and more than 12 years of a dangerous conflict behind us’’, said he. But two countries, Saudi Arabia and Israel immediately made their displeasure known about this deal. Even before the deal was signed, Israel PM, Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted ,’’Iran is more dangerous than the ISIS. The true goal of this aggression is to take over the world’’. It clearly seemed from Bibi’s tweet that he felt frustrated at not being able to jeopardise this deal despite his best efforts to mobilize support, especially through American neo cons, who have also been vehemently opposing any deal with Iran. The US Republicans also didn’t waste any time in denouncing the deal. Republican house Speaker John Boehner made this statement: ‘’Instead of making the world less dangerous, this deal will only embolden Iran’’. Saudi officials have previously voiced fears that increasing rapprochement between US and Iran could eventually lead to Iran supplanting Saudi Arabia as America’s main ally in the Persian Gulf. In fact Israel and Saudi Arabia have been jointly working against this deal from coming to a conclusion.

What worries these critics, notably Israel and Saudi Arabia, a world view they share with the American neo cons also, is not that Iran might become a nuclear power. In fact if that was the worry, they should have been more than happy because this deal stops Iran from becoming a nuclear power, if at all Tehran had any ambitions. What worries these countries is that with this deal Iran will join the mainstream of world nations, start rebuilding its diplomatic relations and ultimately start its trade and commerce with both , the US and EU. Once the economic sanctions are lifted, Iran and its people will start rebuilding their economy which has faced a crushing blow in the last three decades. This will give Iran both economic and political stability. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are obviously not happy at the prospect of a prosperous Iran. Both countries will continue their aggressive posturing. But in the meantime, the people of Iran should celebrate this deal, because it was them, who suffered the unreasonable and unjustified sanctions by the world powers for the last 35 years.   

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