Iran nuclear deal: The region’s latest pacifier

The Iran nuclear deal tells us that one of the bullies in the region has partially won

Octavia Nasr
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Amid the announcements and reactions, there is analysis, prediction and spin. The camps of those opposing the deal are the most vocal but least effective.

Predictably, Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out that a deal “based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel.” The six countries involved in the negotiations have heard many versions of that claim earlier and they must have concluded that there is no truth to it. Better yet, they have probably anticipated such a reaction from Israel and they have probably built in some defenses and room to edit the language, add amendments and stipulate conditions.

This nuclear deal took an entire year to negotiate and a couple of tense days, in the form of deadly Saudi-lead air strikes against Iran-supported Shiite rebels in Yemen, to be born. It is thus a true reflection of the situation on the ground.

The Iran nuclear deal tells us that one of the bullies in the region has partially won over the bully that has won for the past decades

Octavia Nasr

This reality puts Iran on top as regional player and much closer to pursuing any ambitions, nuclear or otherwise. It puts Israel in a position of high alert because its enemy now is not made up of a group of weak Arab nations that will bow to the pressure any time Israel raises the threat alertness as it has been the case for the past decades. It also shows that the Obama administration is very serious about resolving this situation as it sees fit and not as Israel feels comfortable with.

Regional bullies

The Iran nuclear deal tells us that one of the bullies in the region has partially won over the bully that has won for the past decades. Iran has won this battle no question about it and if actual changes do no not take place immediately and decisively, there is a chance that the bully will also win more.

To be clear, no bully should win battle or war; but as long as the polarizations - religious, national and regional – continue to rise and deepen, the Middle East is on a path where the power will be in the hands of not the smartest, or fittest but the maddest bully with the least to lose.

The Middle East is now in a most chaotic state of affairs. Sunnis and Shiites are locked in a bloody fight that just began and has the potential to drag for many years. Christians and other minorities will continue to be persecuted until eliminated or reduced to nothing.

Only Israel is talking with a warning tone about the threat of a potential nuclear Iran in the region. In fact, alarm bells should be tolling from all corners against present-day nuclear Israel and a future nuclear Iran. The screams should be loud against a Syrian regime using chemical weapons against its own people and the future repercussions of such an act on the whole region.

Here again we see that in the game of politics, what is hidden is a lot more dangerous and worrisome than what has been revealed!

This article was first published in al-Nahar on April 7, 2015.


Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.

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