Which MENA Power Should Be Included in the New Iran Deal?

Published January 31st, 2021 - 09:24 GMT
Which MENA Power Should Be Included in the New Iran Deal?
Macron's statements have sparked a lot of conversations over the future of relations between Iran and the GCC countries. (Shutterstock: sema srinouljan)

Following the start of the Biden era, the Iran nuclear deal has made headlines all over the world, as the new US president is expected to renew the deal that his predecessor Donald Trump had abandoned. However, a statement made by the French president yesterday suggested an international willingness to include a new regional partner in the deal.

As per a statement by Emmanuel Macron recently, discussions that aim to restore the long-term pact between western powers and Iran over its nuclear program should include regional countries, namely Saudi Arabia.

During an interview with the Saudi-funded AlarabiyaTV, Macron revealed that he is anticipating a tough return to negotiations with Iran; saying that the western countries who had signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran in July 2015 are now considering including Middle Eastern allies, such as Saudi Arabia.

Macron's suggestions might aim to guarantee an end to regional hostilities between Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, to ensure a more sustainable deal with Iran.

However, Iran immediately shut down Macron's suggestion, saying that a return to the deal doesn't mean changing any of its terms. Signed in 2015 during the second term of former US president Barack Obama, the deal was revoked by the 45th president Donald Trump in 2018.

Trump's decision was in line with his political promises during his election campaign, as he continuously criticized the Obama administration for the deal, before he flooded the Iranian government with severe sanctions during his four years in the White House.

Yet, Macron's statements have sparked a lot of conversations over the future of relations between Iran and the GCC countries, especially that both sides have been largely hostile against each other, since the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution.

Additionally, commentators have been speculating whether Saudi and its regional allies are ready to start diplomatic talks with the Iranian regime, which could, in case it achieved success, end a number of conflicts in the region, including the Syrian and Yemen wars.


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