Consequences of Iran-U.S. reconciliation -

Consequences of Iran-U.S. reconciliation

Consequences of Iran-U.S. reconciliation

Tehran-Washington relations have reached the stage that can be considered a decisive one with some reservations. U.S. President Barack Obama's letter to the religious leader of Iran Ali Khamenei which was made public mostly by Israel’s efforts logically resulted from the talks between Tehran and Washington held over the past months. U.S. President's letter offers to settle the relations after making compromises on Iran nuclear program and start a joint fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

It's hard to say how Iran will respond. However, it's obvious that the Republicans who won the midterm Congress elections will seriously hinder the White House's steps toward normalizing relations with Tehran. Obama's government took considerable steps to settle relations with Iran and if they prove successful it will justify the Nobel Peace Price conferred to Obama ''in advance'' and will become a huge contribution to establishing stability in the Middle East. 

However, it should be noted that normalization doesn't imply establishment of allied relations though many people erroneously consider it the logical result of the current talks. Washington and Tehran can be unanimous on some current issues, such as, for instance, the ISIS. But it will be possible only until the ISIS exists. After its destruction, which is still open to doubt, the sides will again compete in taking control over Iraq. Tehran and Washington can't be allies as the parties aim to establish their influence in the region and they are natural rivals in this regard.  The bottom line of the current U.S.-Iran negotiations is not to let the competition turn into a conflict and eliminate the discords in civilized ways.

The following question is of fundamental importance for us: what awaits Armenia as a result of normalization of Iran-U.S. relations? It's a critical issue which should be considered in two main planes: 1. military-political and 2. economic.

From the first viewpoint, there is an undisputable fact: settlement of Iran-U.S. relations and elimination of the threat of the military conflict is in our security interests. But, on the other hand, what is lying ahead for us in terms of economy? A question particularly rises: will Iran support the projects of no significant economic importance but which are pivotal in terms of maintaining the political balance? Iran-Armenia gas pipeline, the railway, new high-voltage transmission line and Meghri Hydropower Plant are among them.

There are no answers to these questions yet.

Sevak Sarukhanyan is a visiting Fulbright Fellow at Georgetown University. These views are his own.


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