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Dennis Ross: The Most Important Dossier - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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There are many political envoys in the administration of the new American President, Barack Obama. But assigning diplomat Dennis Ross the dossier of Iran and the Gulf means that his [mission] is the most serious and important of all. Despite the importance of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its historic value, it remains confined to a 35-year-old case, counting the years from the last war that changed the political situation. It can continue as it is, with its disputes and wars confined in the area of its conflicts. As for Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan, and with them Al-Qaeda organization, it is true that this is a problem capable of exploding but it is similarly confined to its area.

But Iran is the problem number one in the world. It presents a recipe of uranium, religious extremism, and limitless ambitions. It is the most energetic force in managing anarchy and financing wars. It is also accused of being behind the Lebanon turmoil and the emergence of Hamas, and of being the only threat to Iraq as well as to the Gulf nations. Add to this that it is about to give birth to its first nuclear weapon which will make it more dangerous.

The Americans have been suffering from the Iranian Complex since the Khomeini Revolution that has lasted for three restless decades. This has gone to the extent where the United States sees the Iranians in its nightmares and where the bulk of US policies have become geared to how to deal with them everywhere, in such places as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the Gulf, Yemen, and Palestine.

Now this file has been turned over to Ross, the man who can be described without hesitation as knowledgeable about all the details of the Iranian affair and the issues linked to it in the region. This will save a lot of time for the American Administration, but it does not mean automatically guaranteeing the sought solution with Iran. Envoy Ross has to perform a miracle that defied five American presidents who ruled for 30 years and devoted much of their time to extinguishing the Iranian fire.

So, will the special envoy be able to contain Iran, or to draft a plan for fighting it or reconciling with it, or making concessions to it? We do not know, but any decision Ross recommends might change the map of the region. It might end a dispute that has dragged on, and consequently open the door to solving the difficult problems of the region in which Iran is definitely involved. Everybody hopes that a good relationship with Tehran will mean peace in the Middle East, and [yet] Ross could be the cause for embroiling the region into more Iranian hegemony and consequently erosion of American power and threats to the Gulf nations, with new wars that will ensue as a result of this. Thus it is no exaggeration to say that Ross is carrying the most important dossier and that he is required to perform a political miracle.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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