Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran: Game over! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ever since the Khomeini revolution in Iran, political analysts and research centers in the West, particularly in the US, have been speculating about a “major deal” anticipated between the US and Iran, regarding the Arabian Gulf.

Both the Iranian and US pragmatic political maneuvers in dealing with the issue of security in the Arabian Gulf, alongside Iran’s major role in facilitating the occupation of Iraq and the expulsion of the Taliban from Afghanistan, make up the primary cause behind such talk of an anticipated deal between the two countries.

However, the political developments in the Arab world – the so-called “Arab Spring” – and the exposure of Iran’s sectarian agenda when handling the situations in Bahrain, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, Iran’s declining influence in these countries as a result of increased Arab awareness of Tehran’s destructive terrorist role in the Arab region and the wider world, the exposure of the false Iranian façade regarding the Palestinian cause and its support for oppressed nations, Iran’s continual defiance of the international community through its drive to acquire nuclear weapons, and finally its recent threats to block the Strait of Hormuz – the world’s vital commercial artery, have prompted the US and the entire world to reconsider their handling of Iranian ambitions, and also to redefine the Iranian role in the region.

The political game surrounding the “major deal” is no longer amusing for the American side, but the Iranian regime continues to believe that the game is still being played. However, the Iranian regime is not aware that the number of players on the opposing team has increased considerably, to the extent that former bystanders and even ex-supporters of the Iranian team have become key players for the other side, and Iran’s political maneuvers and threats do not intimidate them, nor do they intimidate the world. Yet, such threats will continue as long as these players continue to deal with the issue of stability in the Arabian Gulf as a mere target among other targets – rather than the focal point, an issue that will only pose a risk if Iran possessed nuclear weapons. Protecting the Arabian Gulf region against Iranian threats, as well as ensuring the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region, both require an international alliance that has already began to emerge, yet such an alliance will not be crystallized without a regional and international consensus that places the stability of the Arabian Gulf as the top priority, and acts to prevent Iran from amassing nuclear weapons.

The achievement of this particular target requires more than just plans or maneuvers aiming to mount diplomatic pressure or impose economic sanctions, as this only brings the two sides back to the arena of negotiations and deals. Stability in the Arabian Gulf region is no longer the demand of the Gulf States alone; rather it has become an international necessity. The ball is now in the international playfield, and the international alliance should send a clear message to the ruling regime in Iran to say that the game is over.