The Middle East, especially the West Asian region, is the most volatile region in the world. The major reason of such regional instability is the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. One of these two rivals, Iran, has been suffering from a weak economy for decades because of the economic sanctions that are imposed on it by the International community for quite a long now. However, on 14th July, 2015, a deal was signed between Iran and the UNSC 5 plus 1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S.) on the Iran-nuclear-programme, creating a scope for the long-drawn economic sanctions to be lifted. The deal requires Iran to limit its nuclear usage; and in return, years-long sanctions are promised to be lifted from Iran.
Why did the U.S. agree to sign the deal?
The U.S. has signed an important deal with Iran; the same Iran on which the U.S. has kept its sanctions imposed for more than three decades. Why did such sudden change happen in the U.S.’s ‘Iran policy’?
The U.S. is no other nation state. It’s an ideological state, whose ideology is core capitalism. A core capitalist state like the U.S. would not step away from its firm stand unless it benefits from such move in multiple ways and in great quantities. It seems the following factors have pushed the U.S. to come into the decision of signing the deal with its adversary Iran:
- The U.S. cannot be at odds at the same time with too many opponents, which includes Brazil, China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Al-Qaeda and other religious groups;
- S. cannot afford to let countries like Iran to slip into the Sino-Russian political orbit paving way for a Sino-Russian capitalist world order;
- A conflict-hit and polarized middle east ensure an increase in the U.S.’s arms sale in the region;
- The U.S. wants to ensure the EU member states’ full sanctions on Russia;
- The U.S. wants to maintain its dominance in the global economy by entering into the Iranian oil industry.
U.S. cannot be at odds at the same with too many adversaries
The U.S. is engaged in a global rivalry with China— a much known fact of today’s global reality. Although the rivalry has been mostly in economic arena so far, this rivalry is slowly extending to an overall rivalry. At the same time, the U.S. has been imposing economic sanctions on Russia, whose stable existence in Eurasia would mean end of the U.S. hegemony in Europe and ‘no entry’ for the U.S. in Central Asia. Moreover, as alleged by some Latin and African analysts, the U.S. has been, for quite a long, trying to destabilize both Brazil and South Africa internally in order to facilitate a regime change as they are becoming more and more anti-U.S.
At the same time, the U.S. has been maintaining sanctions on Cuba, North Korea and Iran for decades, pushing these countries towards cooperation with its rivals— China and Russia. Moreover, quite often the U.S. has found itself fighting the religious militants, such as Al-Qaeda, almost alone with comparatively little help from its allies. Since the U.S. suddenly realizes that it is not possible to shoulder the burden of maintaining odd relationships with too many adversaries, the U.S. is now trying to pick and choose which adversarial entities should be deal with now, and which ones should be dealt with later. Therefore, for the time being the U.S. is making peace with the ones it is considering to deal later, which includes Iran.
U.S. wants to counter the initiation of a Sino-Russian capitalist world order
China is in rivalry with the U.S. regarding the major campaigner-ship of the current capitalist world order. From China’s recent moves, it seems that China, alongwith Russia, is engaged in reshaping the world order to replace the U.S. as the major campaigner of the current capitalist world order. Therefore, for the U.S., keeping countries like Iran and Cuba as adversaries would push them to slip into the Sino-Russian political orbit paving way for the inception of the Sino-Russian capitalist world order. The U.S. simply cannot afford to let such a catastrophe to happen. So, two of the things that the U.S. wanted through the Iran Nuclear Deal are: (i) to neutralize Iran’s anti-U.S. perception, and (ii) to restrain Iran from joining, in full capacity, the Sino-Russian political orbit.
Ensuring an increase in arms sale in the region
The U.S. knows very well that the growing Iranian influence in the Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen is frightening the Saudi defence apparatus and other Gulf states. The U.S. knew well that the nuclear deal with Iran would only help to increase such fear, and the Gulf states would rush to the U.S.’s arms selling companies in order to boost their defence capabilities further against their regional rival ‘Iran’.
Ensuring the EU member states’ full sanctions on Russia
Despite the requests from the U.S., the European Union (EU) member states are bound by their energy dependence on Russia not to go for harsh measures against it. That is why, the U.S. wanted an alternative to Russian energy (especially gas) for Europe, so that it becomes easier for the EU member states to go ahead with the harsher sanctions against Russia. Moreover, EU’s energy dependence on Russia is paving way for an EU-Russian cooperation in other fields as well. The U.S. is also trying to prevent an EU-Russian all-out cooperation, which is likely to diminish the U.S. hegemony in Europe.
U.S. wants to maintain its global economic dominance
For decades, the oil-extracting-giant-corporations of the U.S. have been earning billions in Middle Eastern ‘Arab’ region. Now, the U.S. wants to spread the grip of its oil-extracting-giant-corporations across the Middle Eastern ‘Persian’ region (including Iran) and Africa in order to maintain its global economic dominance.
The deal is done, but it is yet to be implemented. Although the U.S. and its allies have their own reasons behind pursuing and signing the deal, China and Russian, who participated in the negotiation of the deal, have too their reasons, which are most likely to be divergent with that of the U.S. and its allies. On the otherhand, acceptance of the harsh terms of the deal by Iran shows that Iran has very solid reasons on its part to accept those terms, and surely such reasons do not smell good for either the Westerners, except the U.S., or the Gulf states. Although the deal seems to be good for the U.S. for the time-being, sooner or later it would come to the light that it is not the U.S., but the Sino-Russian political orbit, that is strengthened and rewarded by the deal.
Bahauddin Foizee is an international affairs analyst, and writes on Middle Eastern, greater Asia-Pacific & European geopolitics. Also a campaigner for environmental and social awareness, Bahauddin Foizee occasionally writes on environment and refugee issues.