August 2, 2013

A Practical and Timely Decision of US-Iran Relations

    Friday, August 02, 2013   No comments

by Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr.*

In a positive gesture to the recent Iranian presidential election that led to the victory of its moderate president, Hassan Rowhani, more than 130 members of the US Congress and 29 other experts from various sectors in America have called on President Obama to give a fresh start of diplomatic engagement with Iran. This is in spite of a new warning from Senator Lidnsey Graham’s that he will file a resolution authorizing military to prevent Iran from developing nuclear program once no changes will occur in that country in October or November this year. Graham’s statement was heavily criticized by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) as “reckless and seriously undermines U.S. and international efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.”

The dynamism of Iran-US diplomatic tag-of-war revolves around certain claim and counter-claim that Iran has continued to enhance nuclear weapon’s capability and therefore posed threats to the security of the Middle East region and the international community while the United States has been blamed by the Iranian previous administrations as the source of trouble and insecurity of the Middle East region.

One may observe that the confrontational diplomatic approach employed in previous years had produced no political and economic gains for both the United States and Iran. Neither side was able to take advantage of the opportunities they could have offered to each other and to the region. Iran suffers from economic deficit as the result of sanctions targeting its petroleum, banking and international commercial transactions; whereas the United States suffers from its regional political popularity in its handing of Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq after ten years of the US administration has never attained the security stability it has always wanting to achieve, while Afghanistan continues to be infested by daily crimes committed by Talibans and desperate criminals despite Karzai’s efforts to make the country secure for Afghan people.

The key to Middle East relative security and successful economic reform is through the active, cooperative and constructive participation of major powers such as the United States, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Europe. This means that denial or rejection of other powers participation will not result to a comprehensive agreeable environment but may result to further desecuritization of the region.

Even if a new pro-western government will be placed in Syria in the future, it still cannot guarantee a successful Syrian political transition with out a blessing from Iran’s Islamic government. It is prudent that major powers should look at the development in Iran today as timely and crucial to the future’s regional security and stability. The call for the Obama’s administration to reengage Iran’s new administration is crucial and necessary and should not just be considered as an alternative choice.

*Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr is an Assistant Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Tehran, a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Shahid Behesti, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran and Bachelor of Science in International Relations at the King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic and Asian Studies, Mindanao State University, Marawi City, Philippines.


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