TEHRAN – A professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco believes that “right-wing Zionist groups” and Israel will lose most if the hostile relationship between Iran and the United States is turned into a normal one.
In an interview with the Tehran Times, Stephen Zunes also said a rapprochement between Iran and Washington “could curb the tendency of the U.S. to act as a belligerent hegemon and to instead play a more constructive role in the region.”
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: Which groups in the U.S. would benefit from a possible rapprochement between Iran and the United States?
A: Almost everybody. Hardly anyone benefits from the current state of tensions.
Q: Which groups would not benefit from an improvement of relations between these two countries?
A: Right-wing militarists, oil companies, arms manufacturers, right-wing
Zionist groups, and others with an ideological or financial stake in continued tensions.
Q: Which countries would be happy if the relations between Tehran and Washington are normalized?
A: Most of the international community.
Q: Which countries would not benefit if this happens?
A: Israel and some of the Arab monarchies on the Persian Gulf, which benefit from U.S.-Iranian tensions through increased U.S. military assistance. In addition, the alleged Iranian "threat" offers the Israeli government a distraction from its ongoing oppression of the Palestinians and makes it more difficult for the Obama administration to
press Israel to compromise in negotiations regarding the occupation.
Q: How can an improvement in relations affect the "international balance of power" or the "regional balance of power"?
A: If improved relations result in ending Iran's international isolation, Iran could play a more constructive role as a middle-level power. Perhaps more importantly, it could curb the tendency of the U.S. to act as a belligerent hegemon and to instead play a more constructive role in the region.