GRM 2010 GRM 2011

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Major Repercussions of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the Persian Gulf Region
Paper Proposal Text :
Major Repercussions of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the Persian Gulf Region
Behzad Shahandeh

GRM 2016, 16-19 August, 2016.
Cambridge University
Workshop: Nuclear Energy for the Gulf: Key Questions and Opportunities.

The recently-concluded Iran Nuclear Deal and Climate Agreement are undeniably two of the most significant successes achieved by the world community in recent times, with potential far-reaching consequences on a global scale as yet unsuspected. The former of the two accords has set a precedent in allowing dialogue to ensue with a view to dispelling doubts that could have put the world on a path to another war. The toll of the conflict would have been unheard of in terms of both its dangerousness and the costs incurred, involving many countries within and beyond the region at the risk of developing into a new world war.
Moderation in seeking to settle an issue that had plagued the world for twelve years eventually brought fruit after two years of breathtaking negotiations which culminated in the “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) between Iran and 5+1. The purpose of this paper is to bring to light the major repercussions of what is described by some as the “deal of the decade”, first and foremost in the Persian Gulf Region. In the near future, the most concrete result of the treaty will be the opening of diplomatic channels and dialogue as the most appropriate option to overcome the toughest and hardest hurdles. In particular, the Iran-Saudi Arabia imbroglio which is sometimes perceived as insoluble will prove to be much easier to resolve through dialogue than the “JCPOA” inked on January 14, 2016. The international talks then brought together so many parties with respective agendas and interests that their widely-differing views seemed impossible to reconcile. For Tehran, rapprochement is actually far more feasible and easier to achieve with Riyadh than with the world community as a whole. Once it has been engaged, Iran will be more anxious to sort out problems with a neighboring country with which it shares the greatest influence in the region. Moreover, the more serene atmosphere created by the “Deal” will enable countries in the region willing to benefit from the advantages of nuclear energy to make use of this source in pursuing economic development.
The benefits to be derived from detente based on dialogue, as shown in the precedent set by the “Deal”, will become even more obvious as Iran makes every endeavor to engage in diplomacy and negotiation in order to upgrade, mend, and strengthen its regional cooperation ties. The more auspicious environment produced by the “Deal” will prompt Iran to resort to diplomacy as a means to engage littoral states and invigorate the Rouhani administration’s initial policy goal of giving priority to cordial relations with Iran’s closest neighbors, as the agenda has experienced some turbulence due to some unforeseen developments. The recent “Deal” has provided an opportunity to revitalize the said policies through talks on issues deemed not long ago to be non-negotiable, thereby allowing Iran and its neighbors to regain confidence in their capacity to clear up outstanding misunderstandings... among them. As an added factor of easier change, and again as a consequence of the “Deal”, major powers outside the region have taken a more positive stand in urging their regional allies to pave the way for the advent of detente between Iran and its Arab neighbors. The future path of cooperation as an alternative to conflict looks most promising for the region after the conclusion of the Iran Nuclear Deal, as the impossible was made possible by intense negotiation, whereas in future less effort will be required as change gains momentum.