Seyed Hossein Mousavian writes: With the ongoing domestic in-fighting in the United States and Iran over the nuclear deal — which has already become legally binding by way of a U.N. Security Council resolution — it has become clear that Congress poses the biggest risk for the deal falling through. Congress’s ability to play a spoiler role comes not only from the power it has to scuttle the deal altogether but also from its efforts at fostering an uncertain atmosphere regarding the removal of sanctions on Iran.
The effectiveness of the nuclear deal will rely largely on the P5+1 instilling confidence in the global business community that sanctions have been removed and the country is open for business. Truly removing sanctions in a way that would have tangible benefits for Iran would require shaping expectations in such a way that businesses do not feel their investments are precarious and susceptible to the political machinations of Congress or a future U.S. president.
For the deal to be successful, it is critical for Iran to derive real and substantial benefits from sanctions relief. President Hassan Rouhani’s administration has hedged its legacy, and by extension that of pragmatism in Iran, on being able to deliver economic prosperity to Iranians. The nuclear deal and normalizing Iran’s relations with the West have been viewed as the critical ingredient to accomplishing this goal.
Indeed, the successful conclusion of the nuclear talks has led to the development of a new pragmatism in Iran, personified by prominent decision-makers who have more sober and practical views on foreign and domestic policy. This phenomenon has seen the joining of political figures who hail from historically opposing camps, namely the moderate Rouhani and the principalist speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani. This heretofore unseen alliance is a significant development in Iran’s political landscape and has positioned pragmatism as a palpable political force in Iran. [Continue reading…]