Whether or not Iran ever reaches an acceptable nuclear deal with representatives of the International Community, the Iranian government should not allow Iranian-Western relations to regress. Although hardliners in the Iranian government look at a nuclear deal with the West in unfavorable terms, the fact that the issue brought all sides to the table is important.
What President Hassan Rouhan has been able to do is break through decades of isolation by engaging the West in the face-to-face negotiations. Quite frankly, the relationships that have been created between Iranian and Western leaders is far more valuable to Iran than their nuclear program will ever be.
Where hardliners in Iran see their nuclear ambitions as a means of strengthening their position in the International Community, their pursuit of nuclear technology makes them a greater threat and a far more inviting target to the outside world. In other words, it makes them weaker.
Given India’s population and status as a nuclear power, Indian Prime Minister Shri Modi’s efforts to mend strained ties with adversaries and to strengthen cooperative relationships can help India rise as a global power. In turn, growing influence gives India greater access to everything it needs to address the economic and social needs of its growing population. This includes influence over adversaries of the West, which will make India an increasingly valuable partner to the West.
While the US and Europe have long ago isolated rogue states like Iran, Syria, and North Korea, the Ukraine Crisis has lead to a partial regression of the International Community toward the polarized power structure of the Cold War.
Due to the ongoing conflicts of interests between the US and China, as well as a whole host of issues related to China’s rise as a global power, China’s influence is increasingly seen by a number of countries, including North Korea, as a force to be combated. This puts Russia and China on the opposite side of the more influential West.
Fortunately for the Obama Administration, Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes and other efforts to disrupt the Houthi takeover of Yemen give the US an out when it comes to America’s role in the conflict. In truth, the conflict between the minority Houthi and the Hadi Administration is an internal issue as the Houthi are rebels, not terrorists. That said, a stable Yemen free of Iranian influence is in the interest of Saudi Arabia as Yemen’s neighbor while the situation in Yemen is an issue for the United States due to the presence of Al Qaeda.
Unfortunately, Yemen has been a weak country for many years, which has allowed discontent to fester and Al Qaeda to flourish. As such, it is really no surprise that some revolutionary group would manage to basically drive the Yemeni government out of the country. Yemen serving as a safe haven for globalized terrorist groups does, however, make the collapse of the Yemeni government an issue for the world that must be addressed and Saudi Arabia is leading that effort, which is a good sign that Middle Eastern countries are doing more to provide for their own regional security.
On the other hand, the United States still finds itself in a conundrum. While the US is inadvertently providing air support for Iran thanks to its involvement in Iraq’s military campaign against the Islamic State, Iran is believed to be supporting the Houthi rebels, who are also supported by former Yemeni President and US ally Saleh Ali Abdullah. This, of course, comes at a time when the US is trying to reach a nuclear deal with Iran and avoid siding with Iran in favor of the Assad regime against the Free Syrian Army in Syria.
Although Afghanistan has once again emerged in the spotlight due to the brutal beating death of a woman named Farkhunda, this victim of a broken culture plagued by injustice and abuse of the weak has become a call to action for Afghan women. Not only has Afghan President Ashraf Ghani taken up the cause of Farkhunda by appointing an 11-member commission to investigate her murder, he has signaled he is a President who wants Afghans to confront and solve Afghanistan’s problems.
Where many like to blame the US for Afghanistan’s current problems due to the botched US-lead War on Terrorism, President Ghani used his first official visit to the United States as Afghanistan’s leader to thank Americans for their support and sacrifice. While the US actually has few strategic interests in Afghanistan and the 2002 invasion was more or less a reaction to the September 11th terrorist attacks, the US stayed engaged in Afghanistan for the altruistic purpose of helping the Afghan People.
Turning to the Ukraine Crisis, the Putin government has long been stirring anti-American and anti-European sentiments in order to justify his reckless, destructive policies toward Ukraine. Not only has pro-Putin propaganda made arguments that Russia’s Ukraine policy is justified as a means of balancing US influence, it has also tried to frame leaders like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Slobodan Milošević as heroic victims of US lies and conspiracies who were just trying to fight US oppression.
Failing to cancel a visit to Israel in the wake of controversial statements made against Arab voters by Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as his pledges to prevent the rise of a Palestinian state, in the run-up to Election Day, US House Speaker John Boehner is stoking political strife between the Left and Right of both countries in order to undermine the Obama Administration. This is particularly self-evidence when considering Mr. Boehner must have chose to plan his trip as the Netanyahu controversy was unfolding.
Given the Prime Minister’s political damaging speech to a joint-session of the US Congress in early March and exuberant support for Netanyahu’s reelection on behalf of the GOP, it would appear self-proclaimed “conservatives” of both nations are choosing to overcome opposition from the Center and Left in their respective nations by joining forces as a globalized “Conservative” brand. Unfortunately, this emerging political dynamics undercuts the interests of average Americans and Israelis for the sake of Right-wing gains.
Despite flattering proclamations declaring Israel as America’s greatest ally in order for the political class to avoid being labeled anti-Semitic, Israel is not. Israel may be America’s most favored ally, but it is not America’s greatest ally. Britain, most likely, fits that description. Where Germany and France are America’s second/third most important European allies, Japan holds the title of America’s greater ally in Asia with Australia fighting to strengthen its ties with America.
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