The significant and historical message forwarded by President Barack Obama to the spiritual leader of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stands as a significant indicator of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the restructuring of the coalitions and interests in the Middle East, which in the midterm will lead to Washington fully abandoning its Arab allies and looking for partnership with the Iranians!
The message entailed a pledge from Obama to Khamenei not to get near the regime of Assad, and the affirmation of the American will in a partnership with Iran to confront extremism, in case the deal on the Iranian nuclear program is finalized.
Discussions on a “nuclear deal” push us one step forward in seeing the current scene: for us to ask the conservative Arab governments — who wish to freeze the blood flowing through the veins of time, and who prohibit change with any means possible— what will you have left in case the American-Iranian deal is finalized?!
Even if this deal is not finalized and current obstacles remain as is, the United States will not enter a conflict with Iran and had become prepared — even if not officially announced, realistically speaking — to acknowledge this power in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and probably “Yemen” later!
But the significance of the deal for the U.S. administration and Israel is that it puts an end to the issue of Hezbollah, as a prominent U.S. diplomat — who played a role in inaugurating the back channel with Tehran — affirmed to us during a private meeting, as Iranians informed him that in case the deal is accomplished, they are completely ready to transform Hezbollah into a political party within the Lebanese internal formula.
On the other end, the regime of Assad and the posture toward it is not a big obstacle that stands in the face of this deal anymore, as there is a huge transformation in the U.S. posture regarding this issue, and this led to the dismissal of the U.S. secretary of defense; an important paper issued lately by the Rand Institute, “to be discussed tomorrow,” sheds more details on this, but the important thing is that through his letter to Khamenei, President Obama completely jumped over the vision of his Arab allies when he eliminated the terminology of terrorism and tied it to the Islamic State and the al-Nusra front, and called on Iranians to participate in the “war against terrorism” and what the American administration is now doing in both Iraq and Syria, which practically and clearly benefits the Iraqi government , the Shiite militias and the Syrian regime, meaning that the one who mostly benefited from this is Iran!
Going back to the situation of the Arab regimes, even though the U.S. administration refuses to abandon its allies, it is actually “stuck,” between these considerations and its strategic vision and deep conviction, which started to mature and has found a fixed ground since Sept. 11, 2001 — that the current Arab regime is not a good ally and is not a service-oriented friend in the long run, and that the destiny of these countries and regimes is disintegration, chaos, internal crises and economic and demographic pressures, which means that betting on them is no longer useful; al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and their siblings constitute nothing but the export of these internal crises.
We will not witness a surprising dramatic change in U.S. postures overnight, but in the medium and long term, it is clear that there is a new American way of thinking, which is even tied to the crude oil discoveries in the United States and the decline in the strategic value of the Arab region in Washington’s calculations.
The bottom line is that the Arab regimes today – with their determination to revive and sustain the coalition with Washington, their reluctance toward democratic change, and the stagnation that engulfs the current formulas — are playing in the wasted time, and don’t wish to convince themselves that preserving it (time) had become an impossible choice; even if shallow tactical breakthroughs are accomplished here or there, in the long run such an approach will generate even bigger upcoming explosions, as the Iranian-American and Russian-Turkish dialogues are the determinants of the region’s destiny, because it is amid the strong ones!