[Marxism] Iran nuclear deal: A powerful Tehran turned into America’s policeman in the Gulf? It could happen

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 3 17:01:02 MDT 2015

(Okay, let me see if I get this straight. 9 million fucking articles to 
date about how Iran is the top gun in the "axis of resistance", the 
"good guy" in the fight against Wahhabism. And now Robert Fisk, who 
wrote about 2 million of those articles, announces that Iran might now 
replace Saudi Arabia as the gendarme of stability in the region. What a 
crock of shit. Hamid Dabashi just wrote an article arguing that both 
iran and Saudi Arabia are counter-revolutionary. Of course for many of 
the brilliant commentators on the region, nothing matters much except 
opposing the USA even when its support for Syrian rebels never amounted 
to much. in any case, can we rule out the USA becoming part of the "axis 
of resistance"? Stranger things have happened. As Kissinger once said, 
the USA has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.)


Iran nuclear deal: A powerful Tehran turned into America’s policeman in 
the Gulf? It could happen

This week’s Lausanne deal could trigger a political earthquake
Iran was reborn as a major Middle East nation when it agreed to limit 
its nuclear ambitions. Despite the “ifs” (if Iran complies with the “key 
parameters”, if Iran’s Revolutionary Guards don’t try to wreck the 
agreement, if Israel does not batter Iran’s nuclear facilities in a 
rogue nation attack) the framework could one day return the 36-year-old 
Islamic Republic to the status of a regional superpower which last 
existed under the Shah.

Which is why the Saudis are so angry. For Iran as America’s new best 
friend may seriously damage Saudi Arabia’s privileged alliance with the 
United States. A kingdom that violates human rights in its treatment of 
women and fails to adapt to any form of free speech was never a 
“natural” ally of Washington, even if America’s friends have always 
included some extremely nasty states.

If Iran and the West keep their word, however, and the distrust which 
even Secretary of State John Kerry admits still exists, turns into 
mutual confidence, then this week’s compromise agreement – and 
compromise is admittedly a very dodgy piece of machinery in the Middle 
East – could have an enormous political effect on the region. Iran 
could, over time, become America’s “policeman in the Gulf” as it was 
under the Shah’s reign.

And who would be surprised if the US begins to re-examine its 
relationship with the Wahhabi Saudis who gave the world Osama bin Laden 
and 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11? Their state religion is the same as 
that of the Taliban and, alas, of the more gruesome rebels in Iraq and 
Syria. Saudi Arabia as a state will do its best to pose, as usual, as 
the symbol of the local “anti-terrorist” struggle. But the times they 
are a-changing, albeit slowly.

Egypt needs American assistance in the billions. Former Field Marshal 
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (now President Sisi) knows very well that US orders 
must be obeyed – that’s why Egypt cut off its alliance with Hamas, to 
isolate Israel’s enemies. Qatar and the Emirates will have to accept any 
American final agreement. As for Iran’s only Arab ally, Syria – and Iraq 
has not yet reached that status – the Lausanne agreement looks like the 
best news Bashar al-Assad has had in Syria since the Russians prevented 
America’s air raids on his regime. Indeed, more and more Arabs will be 
inclined to believe that his life expectancy could be as long as that of 
his father, Hafez. Unless, of course, Iran can now impose a ceasefire on 
Syria. Certainly Lausanne may one day be a key to the future of a 
country whose conflict has become one of the greatest Arab tragedies of 
modern times.

Every media lad and lass has been telling the world of Israel’s 
displeasure. And we all know how Israel’s friends among the Republicans 
in Congress could go into wrecking mode. But no one has asked about that 
other great tragedy of the Middle East, the Palestinians. How soon will 
Iran suggest that a Palestinian state should be an important part of its 
new relationship with America? In which case, Kerry’s utter failure in 
Israeli-Palestinian talks – symbolised by “Palestine’s” new membership 
of  the International Criminal Court – may come back to haunt him after 
his greatest political achievement.

Unless. Unless Damascus falls to Isis or the soldier-killers of Sinai 
bring their trade to Cairo or the Saudi assault on Iran’s Shia friends 
in Yemen turns into a fiasco. The dangers are obvious. And whenever 
Washington boasts of its Middle East achievements – we do not need to 
recall “Mission Accomplished” – a debacle usually follows.

Yet history often turns in circles, even in little Swiss cities. 
Lausanne is where the Ottoman Empire was finally closed down in the last 
century – it is something to which Osama bin Laden used to allude – and 
where caliphates came to an end before the modern Arab dictators 
recreated them with their own families. Perhaps the Iranian empire, or a 
modern version of it, will one day come to believe its rebirth occurred 
in the same Swiss town. So watch out for the next political earthquake 
in the Middle East. But remember all those “ifs”.

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