Iran’s Nuclear Deal And The Middle East Politic

Mohamed HagiThe Islamic Republic of Iran is the largest country in the Middle East in population wise, the second biggest country in a land area, after Saudi Arabia and the 29th country of the world when sorted by nominal Gross Domestic Product according to the referred terms of the international financial and statistical institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. The Global Power Firm that designs, engineers and manufactures the broad array of equipment and services to the global power infrastructure rated the military power index of Iran as the 23rd of the most powerful country of the world in 2015.

Iran is known to be the home of the world civilisation, the cultural development of Iran began in the early Bronze Age. It can be referred back to the 3200 BC to 2500 BC during the Proto-Elamite Script and the development of the writing system. This bears a resemblance to the human settlements and the agricultural developments of the Fertile Crescent of the Western Asia. These subsequent civilisations of writing system and agriculture have made the region what was once called the Cradle of Civilisation. This artistic development has positively affected the Western European cultures, which later grew into the current world civilisations of science and technology.

However, the contemporary history of Iran denotes from the ruling house of the republic, which started from 1925 up until 1979 in the direction of the Iranian Revolution, which refers the overthrow of the country’s monarchy. The national referendum on the 1st April in 1979 launched the official power of Ayatollah Khomeini, which resulted to end the 4,679 years of traditional monarchy rule of Iran, the phenomenon turned the state of Iran into an Islamic Republic. The nationalism of the Shia Islamic character of Iran and the Western civilisation of secularising democratic efforts caused the political animosity of the two sides for the last 36 years.

As previously stated in my article on the pre-modern style of tribalism against the modern style of democracy; ‘’Iran was colony free as its first official empire established in 550 BC, it was also a powerful empire and the country was able to maintain its independence to the present day’’. This was one of the main reasons on why Iran politically absconded to become Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and any other gruesome country in the Muslim world. Because, Iran was the single Muslim country that has never been colonised by the Western Empires. Consequently, a foreign intervention is impossible in the cultural terms of a civilised state like Iran in which its people are united in terms of nationality and unitary theocratic philosophy of the Shia sect of Islam.

Therefore, in this article I will like to illustrate the nuclear deal between Iran and the Power 5+1 countries in which the most of the world leaders hailed, by US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and their allies envisioned a new direction and global sigh of relief. Whilst, Iran President Hassan Rouhani addressed in front of his nation that his country signed up a constructive engagement with the world’s power nations, he said ‘’we did not ask for charity. We asked for fair, just and win-win negotiations’’. However, the Saudi led coalition of the Sunni world and Israel opposed the deal, and in this article I will critically analyse the divergent interests of the Middle Easterners, the political concept of the West, and how this situation might affect the regional politics of the Middle East in the future in terms of politico-security.

The Political Deal

Primarily, the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran was the realpolitik of the United States and Britain. The political reality of the Middle East determined Iran to be pressurised, for the reason that 66% of the world energy, which is the machine of the economy is produced in the Middle East plus the Jews interest of Palestine. This resulted, the twelve more years of economic sanctions and military compressions from the US to Iran. However, those political and economic circumstances have changed tremendously by the global political surroundings of the Asian continent.

On the other hand, Iranian intelligence acknowledged that it is time to change the prolonged political position of Iran, because of the Sunni threats of ISIL that spreading into the region mainly the Shiite premises of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Besides, the Arab and the Sunni World confrontation against the Iranian state, the bad relations with Israel and the heavily broken and severely damaged relations with the West have compelled Iran to compromise against its political position.

The above political circumstances resulted that both sides are willing to reach an agreement, because of their current political interests. Hence, in this nuclear deal, both sides prerequisite an agreement. As a result, in the eyes of the International Community, Iran’s achievement of these negotiations has managed to change its political character from aggression and confrontational regime to a more flexible government that can negotiate and make a friendly deal within the dogmatic world order. Henceforth, the 19 days of what the international mainstream media called the haggling and brinkmanship resulted the finishing line of the historic deal between Iran and the world powers by curbing Iran’s nuclear programme to prevent nuclear weapons, and in return lifting 13 years of economic sanctions.

Why Saudi Oppose the Deal

This is unpretentious, because Iran, Saudi Arabia and together with its Sunni allies should be enemies forever. The animosity between Israel on one side, the Iranians and the Arab Sunnis on the other could not be interpreted as most of the political commentators of the world diagnosed the problem. The real enemies in the Middle East are the Sunnis and the Shiites, not the Israelis and the other Middle Easterners who both conform the Holy Religion of Islam. It might confuse people into tropical dementia in a way, but the reality is far sharper than what most of the intellectuals and the mainstream media from the West, or Arabs themselves aforementioned about the Middle East Politics. The real opponents in the Middle East are the Sunnis led by the Saudis and the Shiites by the Iranians. It is more about ideological and religious war than economics and power, or ethnicity and racial rivalry.

The reality refers that the 1.5 plus Muslims in the world have been divided a long ago, not by the Westerners in origin nor the Israelis, but rather by the Caliphate era, which was the first Islamic Government after the Holy Prophet Mohamed peace be upon him. This division resulted the everlasting hostility between the Shiites and the Sunni. Of course, it cannot be denied the role of the Westerners and Israelis in the Middle East Politics when it comes widening the differences between the two parts, which later escalated the course of hostilities and mistrust in the region. In that case, the Saudis and its allies should oppose whatever seems to be good for the Iranians, which can economically and politically might empower their political role in the region. Because, whatever good for Iranians is bad for the Saudis and its allies politically for the result of their religious ideological differences.

The Nature of US Support for Israel

Anyone who scholastically reads or watches the news or pays attention to the global political proceedings would discern why most of the biosphere is against Israel. Voluminous peoples and countries have turned against Israel, especially in the years with the outbreak of the Intifada. The Arab world has always been against Israel, and have become even more so. Many Western European countries, with rising Muslim populations, have turned against Israel politically. As political Scientists discovered, there is no much incentive available for anyone to support Israel, since they have no oil, few natural resources, no threat of economic ties or any other crucial interest of Israel to the countries that do not support it. Many countries find it politically easier to condemn Israel than to provide constructive criticism to the Arabs.

Nonetheless, the story is different when it comes to the United States and why they provide the biggest support to Israel. Whilst, every other nation of the world is against Israel, in one way or another. Although, European countries seem to support Israel, for the reason that they have done the most inhumane act that has ever happened to a homogenous people within the continent of Europe. Of course, it is nothing more than what the Nazi-Germany has done to the Israelis. In that case, we can all assume the support of the Europeans to Israel is just nothing more than a compensation from the past genocide.

Nevertheless, a colossal inquiry lies here; it is the reason why Americans, including their government support Israel? To answer this question is not that simple as some sociologists and political analysts refer back to the Christianity issues. It is a cheap argument, a wrecked argument I would say, that some scholars and political commentators still argue that the reason why United States or the Europeans support Israel is that ‘god told them to do so’. Isn’t that a joke? Whilst, we all know that the majority of Average Americans are the ones who morally support the state of Israel. The case is that six million elites influenced the majority of American citizens who are what I have called the Average Americans. These elites control the media, which is the most powerful element of the 21st century soft power.

But, they are not alone into this, the government itself persuade the press and the mainstream media to support Israel indirectly. Because, it is the United States national interest to support Israel. Having said this, the Middle Eastern countries excluding Israel produce and have the reserve oil when it comes to the extractive industry of the world. Nearly 66 per cent of the world energy, which is the machine of the economy lies in the Sunnis and Shiites soils in the Middle East, let alone the Islamic world in Africa, Asia and other parts of the universe. Henceforth, America as a Superpower and the world hegemonic state needs to control these states, and keep them to be the satellite countries under the political and economic influence of the United States.

 Why America Principally Provide its Support for Israel?

In my comprehensive research and argumentative point of view about why America upkeep Israel than any other state. Whilst, plenty of other resourceful neighbouring and other world countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil or the Arab world hosts 80% per cent of the world’s energy. Meanwhile, energy is the core element of the economic growth and machinery, or the mechanism of today’s monetary and economic exchange rate of mass production system. The reason is because, American believes beyond all these expectations, and the fact is that Israel promotes America’s interests in the Middle East. The single most important factor behind the $3 billion of annual military and economic aid is the strategic importance of having Israel as an ally. While Israel is not America’s only ally in the Middle East, they are definitely the most important ally.

Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are also allies in a way. Nevertheless, the solitary country in the Middle East that sure-fire and promised to support US if ever in need is the state of Israel alone. Whereas, the benefits to Israel of a close American/Israeli partnership are rather obvious to everyone (security, a voice in the U.N., substantial aid money). On the other hand, America’s benefits of this relationship are not as obvious as that of Israelis. Because, most of the political commentators of the world argue the lack of Israel’s support about the troops for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, it is obvious that Israel helped the US in other ways. It would have taken forever to bring all their weapons, tanks, and other war equipment to that region to begin the war in Iraq, if there wasn’t enough intelligent information at the time of the Iraq war.

The Political Dynamics of the Middle East

Currently, the United States, the European Unions and their opposers (Russians and the Chinese) are on one side regarding the agreement with Iran to compromise its nuclear strategy, and in return, the 13 years of the US and the EU political sanction should be lifted. Whilst, the Gulf Coalition Council led by the Saudis are completely more skeptical about this political dilemma between the P5+1 and the Iran political deal. This is not the only political uncertainty in the Middle East; the Yemeni Shia Houthis who receive viscous support from the Islamic Republic of Iran by the name of Shiites Muslims confronted the bombardments from the Gulf Coalition council. In this scenario, the Western countries fully support the mission in a politically affirmative way. In the meantime, the Iran deal is about to be processed by both sides. These triangle confrontations between the Arab world against Iran and the Western powers is the state of nature of all against all. It is the American and the European interests to play within the fields of these political dilemmas.

War in Yemen

The war in Yemen got its acceleration from the internal and the external power of the political rivalry, and it could be interpreted as the most complex, dynamic warfare in the Middle East. Firstly, the internal part of the wars in which I would like to coin as a new state wars are between the Sunni weak government against the secessionist South and the North, the traditional politics of the prolonged tribal disputes, and the Al-Qaeda group insurgents. This political phenomenon resulted that the Houthis to topple the central government. However, the unanswered question is; how the fragile state will ever be governed by any political group. Historically, from the country’s independence up until the present day, a strong central administration that controlled more than 65 per cent of Yemeni territorial space has never came into existence.

Secondly, the external political rivalry is the political strategic cold war between the two opposing powers of the Middle East, stretching from the Arabian and the Gulf Sea to the Mediterranean. This war is about ideological rather than economics, because Saudi Arabia is the frontrunners of the Sunni world. Whilst, the Islamic Republic of Iran is the head of Shiites world, and whoever wins this cold war would be the spearhead of the Islamic world. The delinquency of the ideology has not started just between these two states, but the Caliphate Empire.

The Ideological Differences of the Sunni and the Shiites

The ideological differences between these sides burgeoned, and the circumstance mainly based on how the leader of Islam is to be elected. The Sunni majority believes that the Caliph (State Islamic Leader) is to be elected democratically, however the Shia cripplingly disagreed and believe that the Caliph should be an Islamic Imam from the Ehl Al-Bayt, for the reason that the Imam has already been chosen by Allah from the descendants of Muhammad ‘peace be upon him”. Shiites believe themselves as the Ehl Al-Bayt. The politics of this arguments are based on democracy somehow, where the Sunnis wants their leader to be elected by the Muslims Shura. The Shiites have opposed and disagreed the notion of an election, as they are the minorities of Islam. It might be the fear of whether a minority group can lead a nation, besides the ideological perspective of the Islamic doctrine is different from one another.

Nonetheless, the main question lies on why is it so important to be the victim of this proxy war. The answer is that Iran’s long-term strategic interest in Yemen is simple. The location of Yemen is the southwestern tip of the Gulf of Peninsula, the country is a failed state, or in other words has been poorly governed for decades. It shares a long border with the Saudi Arabia from the South, and this will enable for Iran to use an entrance gate to the Kingdom. The population of Yemen has more than 35 per cent of Shia Muslims, and it is predictable that hostile operations might happen inside the Saudi Arabia territory. Iran’s political strategy to gain San’a will create an easier access to Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion, the ideological differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran cannot easily be de-escalated. Even though, high level discussion sometimes shows that the relations between the two enemies might be thawing the rapprochement of the warring factions is due to fail, because the fact of the matter is not as simple as a disputed territory, but more philosophical ideologies based on faith and spiritual beliefs. This situation always results that the two states reassess their next-step strategy just to prepare themselves for the next move on the political chessboard. The instability in the Middle East politics, which is between the four main capitals; Tehran, Ankara, Riyadh and Jerusalem will remain as long as ideological and religious rivalry exists.

Turkey’s role is more about economic and security bargain basement, while Israel is about to be the agent of the US and the Europeans. Contrariwise, Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue their ideological rivalry up until one of them fails and surrender. Both countries will keep engaging series of proxy wars as usual to undermine each other, whether it is a cold war or a real warfare within the Middle East, and this will always be Israel’s political interest to remain safe and secure. The case of Lebanon, the Iranians formed and backed Hezbollah.

The Assad regime in Syria is completely clear that Tehran supported for the interest of zero-sum-game. The rebels are there for the Saudis and the United States, while the ISIL is another dilemma of the known-unknowns. The proxy wars in Iraq, the political intervention of Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia are all parts of the political strategy between the two challengers. This long-term ideological rivalry will make the lives of Israel and the Western countries much easier. On the other hand, it will disturb the Russians and the Chinese ideological and economic gains in the Middle East to compete against the West.

Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud. Department of Politics and International Studies. The University of Warwick. Email:,


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