Implementation of the Iran Deal and Its Regional Outcomes

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Behzad Khoshandam
Ph.D. in International Relations & Expert on International Issues

The regional outcomes of the implementation of the Iran deal from the second half of January 2016 will be much more objective, tangible and challenging than its international reverberations. Unlike what former US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said, “the birth pangs of a new Middle East” and West Asia are not a result of such plans as the Greater Middle East or proxy wars in the region, but have their roots in the nature of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, and subsequently in the gradual process of the implementation of the Iran deal through the next three decades.

The most important regional outcome of effective implementation of the Iran deal is the acceptance and confirmation by the majority of actors of Iran's influence, adaptability, capabilities and extraordinarily serious achievements in the Middle East region. The effective implementation of the Iran deal over the next three decades will push Iran into a position of hegemony in West Asia. Under these circumstances, no preconditions can be set for confirming global influence and regional effectiveness of Iran through implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the management of regional crises, the issue of energy, the refugee crisis, asymmetrical threats and terrorism, as well as for supporting regional nation-states and identities. Without a doubt, transregional and regional actors will spare no effort to contain Iran in such areas as tactical, geopolitical, sectarian, racial, religious, ethnic, military, legal and nuclear developments.

Condemning militarism and extremism and making serious efforts in the region in addition to shaping a common strategic discourse across the region to pave the way for making strategic regional decisions after the implementation of JCPOA are inevitable requisites. Among major regional concerns in the course of the implementation of JCPOA one may refer to the possible disintegration of Iraq, Syria, and Yemen; the situation of Kurds across the region; Daesh and terrorism; the future outlook of Yemen, Afghanistan and Russia, as well as more profound presence of such transregional actors as the United States and Russia on the regional chessboard. The key question that now faces the public opinion in Iran and officials in Tehran in the course of the implementation of JCPOA is who will benefit or be at loss from strengthening or eradication of terrorism and Daesh? Will actions taken by Iranian politicians who are well-versed about international situation in various fields of international decision-making earn global acceptance in this process?

The issue of the escalation of arms race in the region, especially in such areas as the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, Iraq, and South Asia, is also a challenging and important issue subsequent to the implementation of JCPOA. Some traditional Arab actors, such as Egyptians, supported Iran's nuclear deal in its early stages, but will such actors as Israel and Saudi Arabia take firm steps toward the realization of a Middle East free from nuclear weapons and preventing proliferation of conventional and unconventional weapons in the region? In the course of the implementation of JCPOA, serious questions can be posed with regard to possible actions to be taken by such important institutions as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU).

Regional balance, coalitions and dreams will be exposed to serious developments in the course of the implementation of JCPOA. In view of Iran's domestic and regional spheres of influence, Tehran will continue to use this development as a trump card. The course and developments related to the Syria crisis show that in the forthcoming developments and in efforts made to solve problems related to regional order and stability, the key will still be held by Iran. Therefore, in the light of the implementation of JCPOA, the key to resolution of the existing problems in West Asia will remain in the hands of Tehran, not Moscow, Washington, London, Paris, Beijing, New Delhi and so forth.

Under these conditions and in the light of effective and professional implementation of JCPOA based on the two sides’ behaviors with regard to the nuclear deal, Iran will maintain a position of bargaining and partnership with big powers with respect to management of global crises, asymmetrical threats, establishment of military and political coalitions, as well as regional balance of power, order and stability. Regional strategic rationalism in the light of the implementation of JCPOA and influenced by the hegemonic standing of Iran over the next three decades will call for smartness of big powers, including the United States, along with its regional allies, in order to pave the way for constructive and cooperative interaction with Iran to manage escalating regional crisis on the basis of common interests.

Practical recognition and realization of an independent Palestinian state as a global concern, and the future outlook of Israel will be strongly affected by the implementation of JCPOA, and the Iran deal will leave its mark on future course of equations in the Middle East and West Asia. Without a doubt, Tehran’s position in this regard will be seriously taken into account by international community.

Analysis of strategic intensions and covert goals behind travel of foreign delegations to Iran subsequent to the conclusion of JCPOA, which include controlling Iran's bargaining chips and spheres of influence (such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraq, Syria, and Kurds), encouraging Iran's participation in fighting international terrorism, purposive steering of domestic currents in Iran as well as strengthening of Western-minded forces and groups within the country will show that JCPOA will have remarkable regional impacts, which are no secret to any observer.

According to current estimates, Iran's strategic defense and security capacities at the end of the implementation time considered for JCPOA will be five times higher than the situation in 2016. Since young people make up about 60 percent of Iran's population, gradual and step by step increase in Iran's political and economic influence following the implementation of JCPOA, in addition to meeting the country’s trade, economic and political interests are among strategic advantages of the Islamic Republic. In the light of the implementation of JCPOA over the next three decades, the door will remain open to resolution of defense, political and strategic problems of the region. This will be the biggest trump card imaginable in the course of the implementation of the nuclear deal. It will be also the best guarantee for the basic implementation of JCPOA in line with the country’s global interests and in conformity to regional realities, national capacities, and regional balance.

Key WordsImplementation, Iran Deal, Regional Outcomes, Middle East, West Asia, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Militarism, Extremism, Regional Balance, Khoshandam

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*Photo Credit: Fararu

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