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KT edit: Gulf countries should have a say in new Iran deal

Filed on January 14, 2020 | Last updated on January 14, 2020 at 07.11 pm

The grand plan was to do business with Tehran when the large Iranian market opens up after sanctions are lifted.

An Iran deal to pacify US President Donald Trump, to boost his ego. The 'Trump Deal', as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fondly calls it could be a decent idea to get out of the Iranian nuclear logjam and bring the regime to it senses. Johnson realises there can be no real global agreement without the participation of United States, still the lone superpower which provides the bulk of the security in the Middle East. The rise of China and Russia has been a matter of debate but Washington still holds the aces to make or break any pact worth the paper it is signed on.

Trump did tear up the agreement and rightly exited the unfair deal with the regime in 2018. Now with Iran on the mat, it may be a good time to resurrect the nuclear agreement, on better terms for the West that will ensure Tehran never ever attempts to take the nuclear route to regional dominance. The previous deal that was piloted by the Obama administration failed to take into account the concerns of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other GCC countries. The former US president and his secretary of state John Kerry were played by Russia, China, and European powers led by Germany and France.

The grand plan was to do business with Tehran when the large Iranian market opens up after sanctions are lifted. They rushed in, blinded by greed, like fools, and Iran returned to its old games of funding and supporting terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Johnson's latest plan will revive diplomacy and re-engagement with Iran. A Trump Deal could also see the GCC playing a larger role. The Gulf countries should be at the table in any future deal with the Tehran regime. Such a deal should also ensure that Iran stays out of the proxy war business in return for the lifting of sanctions. It must also agree to curb its missile development.

The people of Iran deserve a better agreement, too. For long they have lived under the pall of fear and suspicion. They need a change in direction of their destiny and the leadership in Tehran should open their minds to peace and stop obsessing over ideology and a revolution that has spun into a spiral. Johnson's idea opens a tiny window of opportunity for all parties involved in the future of the Middle East and Arabian Gulf region. Will they seize the moment?

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