The choice of moderate Rouhani, the 7th president, is meant to calm the street of Iran because of the surge of prices and inflation because of the harsh US and EU sanction caused to the public. When you visit any market in Tehran, it is bustling with life and consumers. Despite increase in prices people would be seen carrying bags and shopped enough for the fasting month and for Eid celebration, though it was easily noticed that some did not observe fasting.
Unlike couple of years ago, people are more freely walking, sitting in the garden and to some extend resemble Nehru park on a holiday. The government of Iran is easing pressures to some extend on the mass and allowing freedom within a limited space as told by many intellectuals who shared their views of the current situation in Iran internally.
During the swearing in ceremony, few leaders and foreign delegations from 55 countries were present. US, sent mixed signals about the victory of Rouhani, congratulating the people of Iran but not him, hoping that the new leadership will open up and Washington should be more flexible. But the Israeli lobby, warmongering, was fairly active in making sure that Obama administration does not ease the pressures and tight the sanction more on Iran.
According to the US sources the type of economic sanctions were there on Iran, had never been against any nation in the history of the US. In fact reliable sources admitted cancellation of many of Latin American delegations under Israel pressure and warning them of Iran influences in Latin America to use it against American and Israeli interests.
A web US will always be held to it as long as this regime is in power. During the Shah of Iran, it was Tel Aviv which use to instruct the White House to receive him since he was “a great friend of Israel”. A crown, Iran learned to live without it since the success of Islamic revolution.
Moderate but firm
The choice of president Rouhani was to revive the economy, which is a priority, keep the public satisfied and ease the external tension led by the US administration. This was evident from his new cabinet which included a dozen of technocrats, reformists, economists and US educated. Rouhani known as a moderate but not weak, support reforms but conservative and enjoys the trust of the supreme leadership.
The Geopolitical importance and nation state rising
Iran hold many keys to regional and International crisis. Its influences, extended from South Asia to the Caspian, Central and West Asia. The US understands the importance of Iran specially post Iraq withdrawal and its troops evacuation from Afghanistan before the end of 2014 fully or partially. The maritime security importance in the Gulf with the US reducing its navy warships in the region.
While the US is trying to live with strong Iran, it remains held at ransom because of Israel pressures not to open up to the current regime in Iran which is ambitious to go nuclear according to Israeli sources, while military experts argues that conventional capabilities of Iran is more worrisome for the US and Israel and nuclear deterrence possession.
The Iranian military strength can hit any target in the gulf, Israel or even Europe with accuracy but will pursue its policy of exposing Iranian arsenal under the pretext of Iran perusing a military nuclear program despite being signatories to NPT and its civilian nuclear program kept under close watch of IAEA constantly.
This arrogance of the West is behind the belligerent stand of Iran, argued Iranian official and clearly doubting the real intention of the US and the West by stating, “why should we expose ourselves to them when we have two recent examples of retaliation against Iraq and Libya that were invaded and destroyed by US and NATO once they inspected both the countries?”
Tehran learned a hard lesson after the first gulf war (Iraq-Iran war) and the US denial of spare parts to its arsenal and worked steadily to strengthen itself internally after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and filled the vacuum left behind. The russian gas empire and closeness with Iran to counter OPEC and Chinese security energy policy that brought them together.
With the recent uncertainty in the Arab world and instability and anarchy with the birth of Islamist forces, Iran emerging stronger and benefited from the current situation to gain influence in settling crisis in allies’ countries challenging the American and the West intention of ethnic conflict and splitting it into sectarian one. Some of the gulf countries see Iran as a threat to its existence and prefer to be under the shelter of US and speaks on US behalf against Iran.
Tehran learned over the decades, patiently, the art of politics and governance with a strong national government, now wants a direct talk with US and to be dealt with on equal footing, with dignity and respect. This was evident among officials and large section of the society who rally behind the government in its fight for its national interest and this is raising the nation state among them.
Rouhani will be seen doing a balancing act if the US shows a new approach towards Iran deviating from Tel Aviv intention of a military misadventure which will be catastrophe to the region. The role of engagement has to be re-drawn in more pragmatic manner as the ball is in the American court now. The world acknowledges that Iran will contribute to global peace and security if given a chance to play its role regionally.
On the Nuclear front, Iran will continue to fully cooperate with IAEA insisting on its legitimate right to use nuclear energy for civilian purpose. This issue is in the hand of the supreme leadership and no deviation from the principle stand.
On regional issue, Iran will play a major role in Afghanistan post US- NATO withdrawal.
Pipeline diplomacy, if allowed, will strengthen neighbourhood bonds and ailing West will have to find away to gain from Iran market at the time of global recession and bankruptcy to many EU members.
The outcome of the war on Syria will determine the future of West Asia and fallout if America and the West decide to intervene directly militarily in the Syrian conflict.
The Islamic republic of Iran will ensure its allies in the resistance bloc have to stay strong as its own survival will be based on their steadfastness in Syria, Lebanon or Gaza strip.
When the Persian carpet is completed you can see its beauty from all angles and the more knots with selected colours are there, the more it is sophisticated and worthy.
(About the Author: Dr. Waiel Awwad is a Senior International correspondent based in South Asia)