17 Jan '16      home | previous

More Iran in January 2016

As reported today in the Times of Israel, Iran's president, Rouhani, tells his fellow Iranians that skeptics of the nuclear deal (Iran's hardliners?) have been "proven wrong." Rouhani says that "the deal would now make it easier for Iranian businesses to operate after years of being frozen out of the international financial system." He adds: "Today we are in an atmosphere where we can have political, economic and legal interaction with the world to the benefit of our national interests."

Iran's moderate press is reported by BBC News as showing "its delight as a range of international sanctions were lifted." The report describes Iran's reformist newspaper, Sharq, as hailing "one of the greatest days in the contemporary history of Iran." The BBC report describes the hardline press as "less enthusiastic, warning against what they saw as American tricks to continue dominating Iran."

Today, by the way, news comes of new sanctions by the US regarding Iran's ballistic missile program, sanctions that prevent 11 entities and individuals linked to the missile program from using the US banking system – not as great as the sanctions whose end are now celebrated in Iran.

It was good timing by the Obama administration, coming as it did when spirits are up and after the prisoner exchange that included four American-Iranians returned to the US from Iran's prisons.

From the center-left in the US there are tweets about missiles not flying, the world being a safer place and expressions of confidence in the inspection system set up to monitor the nuclear agreement. From Hillary Clinton and others come comments about Iran still being aggressive against its neighbors and oppressive with its own people. Someone adds that it is with adversaries that we do such negotiations, not our friends. From the political right, seldom enthusiastic about negotiations with adversaries (note that there were some who opposed Reagan's negotiations with Gorbachev) comes complaints and doubts.

Today, someone who views the diplomacy negatively opines to the Washington Post:

It seems we got extorted by the biggest terror group in the world. This is not a good precedent to set.

Meanwhile, in a more optimistic frame of mind, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is visiting Saudi Arabia and tomorrow he will visit Iran. He is hoping to reduce tensions between two countries. We'll see how that works out.

According to Saudi owned Al Arabiya, It was reported four days ago that Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "has said a war between his country and Iran would be the beginning of a catastrophe, and Riyadh will not allow it."

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.