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Iran cozies up to America as post-deal era begins

The international community is becoming increasingly encouraged to engage Iran with its neighbors to find a political solution to the crises in Yemen and Syria

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Published: Updated:

In a post-nuclear deal era for Iran, finding political solutions for most of the region’s crises appears to be what Tehran is willing to do, while opening up to its Arab neighbors.

After the deal was struck in July, Iran's foreign minister urged Gulf Arab countries to join forces with Tehran to fight against extremism and militancy in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister FM Adel Al- Jubeir has recently said that the kingdom was satisfied with President Barack Obama’s assurances over the nuclear deal, adding that he be-lieves the deal will contribute to security and stability in the Middle East.

The international community is becoming increasingly encouraged to engage Iran with its neighbors to find a political solution to the crises in Yemen and Syria

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

I believe the international community is becoming increasingly encouraged to engage Iran with its neighbors to find a political solution to the crises in Yemen and Syria, which today have become global disasters, stretching far beyond these countries’ borders.

This may mean cozying up to the U.S. even more in the post-deal era, especially as the White House has said that sanctions relief for Iran is tied to compliance with the agreement.

Speaker of the Iranian parliament Dr. Ali Larijani was visiting New York early September to attend the Fourth World Conference of Parliament Speakers in the United Nations. Larijani found the visit an opportunity to praise President Barack Obama for being “wiser” than his predecessor in negotiating a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear file. Interestingly, Dr. Larijani’s brother - Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani - is one of the most powerful political figures in Iran. As the head of judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani representing the conservative side of the regime in Tehran.

Prisoner swaps?

One of the main concerns from Obama’s administration has been the fate of the three Americans in prison in Iran on charges of espionage. In another indicator Iran wants to get closer to Washington, Ali Larijani has said there were "practical ways" to free Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post's correspondent in Tehran, and that a prisoner swap was one possible option.

"For example, there is a number of Iranians in prison here (in the U.S.) Definitely for matters of this sort, one can come up with solutions. I think your politicians know about those ways," he told NPR, speaking through an interpreter.

When the interviewer asked whether he was referring to a prison swap, Larijani replied: "That's one way. There are other ways that the judiciary systems of the two countries can come up with. It is the judiciary that has to decide about it.”

Not long ago, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi, was quoted by Iran's ISNA news agency as saying Tehran was not considering a prisoner exchange.

No official in Tehran has publicly opposed Ali Larijani remarks about the prisoner exchange yet and if his proposal has been given the nod by his brother Ayatollah Larijani, than it would be wise to expect a deal towards the end of the year


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Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Came-lia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Du-bai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard


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