Saturday, April 5, 2014

Expanding the reach – Closer relations between US and Iran?

Recent decision by US administration to restart the business relationship with Iran is indeed a striking but not an unexpected step. This may probably the first time after Islamic Revolution in 1979, a US administration allowing a US based company (Boeing) to sell advanced materials to Iranians – the Shia heavy weight of Middle East and the corner stone of US foreign policy in Middle-East before the revolution.

It’s very early to say whether this will lead to a complete offset of relations between two nations. There are multiple forces in action here,

a. Saudi Arabia – a regional rival of Iran mainly due to religious differences, which may not want to see any close relationship between US and Iran.

b. Syria – Iran is a strong supporter of Syria’s Assad government. If US want to bring any stability to Syria, they need Iran on their side.

c. Russia – Whoever stands up to US, Russia may automatically become their alley. Naturally Russia will support Iran. In addition to that, Russia also have a long standing relationship with Syria, where they operate one naval base as well.

d. Israel – Probably more than anyone else this factor may affect US-Iran relations. As an arch rival of Iran, a stable US-Iran relation may be the last thing Israel want to see. At the same time, an improvement in relationship may reduce Iranian fear factor in Israel.

e. EU – This sudden bonhomie may be due to the realization that, EU allies won’t decisively act against Russia till the point they are dependent on Russian Oil and Gas supply. Building LNG terminals on Eastern US Sea board and supply shale oil to EU will take a lot of time. Restarting Iranian supply to EU will reduce the potential oil shock Russia can inflict on EU.

Hope that, the business relationship between US and Iran will expand, giving an oil boost to Iranian economy and enhancing the standing of the current government with in the country. However P5+1 countries have to make sure that Iran will neither seek nuclear weapons nor go for weapon grade enrichment.



1. US allows Boeing to sell plane parts to Iran - TOI

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