Implications of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the New Middle East and Beyond

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Nothing will be the same in the Middle East after the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany signed an historic deal with Iran concerning the gradual phasing out of the economic and military embargos on Iran in return for Tehran’s acceptance to cooperate with the international community on its nuclear capabilities. This short essay will offer a scholarly assessment on the likely consequences of this deal in the Middle East and beyond.
 

Undertaking such an effort first and foremost requires a short analysis of the main motivations that appear to have led the United States and Iran, the two main actors of the decades-long nuclear negotiations to reach a compromise.
 

Beginning with the United States, the first thing to say is that this is a historic accomplishment for President Obama who came to power six years ago with a strong will to help rectify the misguided policies of the Bush administration. Many pundits argue that Obama has been a retrenchment president who demonstrated a strong determination to cut back American engagements abroad, particularly in the Middle East, with a view to channeling diminishing American capabilities in the face of growing domestic economic problems as well as the more challenging process of managing the rise of Asian powers, notably that of China. To Obama, the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were strategic mistakes that not only eroded the American hard and soft power capabilities but also led potential rivals and challengers to increase their strategic influence across the globe, most notably Iran in the Middle East and China in East Asia.

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