The three most dangerous issues that confront U.S. national interests in the Middle East, President Obama pointed out in his Sept. 23, 2013, speech at the United Nations, are Syria’s civil war, the nuclear stand-off with Iran, and resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Official White House photo by Pete Souza
With this week’s agreement to begin direct negotiations with Iran, and the joint U.S.-Russian deal to force Syria to destroy its chemical weapons, President Obama has significantly increased the odds of resolving two of them. And he has set the stage for finally ending the impasse on the long festering Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Whether one thinks the turn of events in Syria and Iran were stage managed by the Obama team, or as many of his critics claim the lucky result of a muddled and fumbling U.S. policy, the fact remains that the Obama administration is on the cusp of engineering a major reset of the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape…
Sarwar Kashmeri, a Senior Fellow-Atlantic Council, asked the U.S. to Pivot its Foreign Policy to Iran and added that: “Rapprochement of the U.S. Foreign Policy to Iran will have enormous consequences for the United States”
In an article published in Huffington Post, the author says that the new order might mean an end to U.S. military presence in the Middle East and wrote: “There is one Muslim country in that region in which time spent by U.S. diplomacy can reap rich dividends: Iran. It is a country of 75 million people, of enormous geopolitical importance with borders that straddle countries that are of vital American national interest. It is a country that is destined to be a regional heavyweight and to serve as one of the region’s key balance wheels.”
“Iran’s new Foreign minister, Mohammad-Javad Zarif is a veteran diplomat and former Ambassador to the UN. He is a fluent English speaker with a PhD in international relations from the University of Denver. He, critically, has the support of the newly elected President Hassan Rouhani, who seems determined to break the nuclear deadlock with the West,” the author adds.
Kashmeri concluds that “It is time to pivot America’s Middle-East foreign policy from the futile quest of trying to influence the trajectory of Arab lands to Iran” and adds: “A rapprochement will have enormous consequences for the United States, the region and the world. Let’s pivot America’s Middle East foreign policy to Iran, now.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa (or, binding religious decree) condemning author Salman Rushdie to death for his book The Satanic Verses still makes headlines, and is held up as an example of Islam’s intolerance and Iran’s depravity. So why then has the 2005 fatwa by Khomeini’s successor and Iran’s present Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decreeing that it is not permissible in Islam to produce, stockpile, or use nuclear weapons barely seen the light of day?