TEHRAN - Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, a professor of global thought and comparative philosophies at the University of London, says the United States is coming to the realization that Iran “holds many keys to the region’s problems.”
“The U.S. is already realizing that Iran holds many keys to the region’s problems and that it is probably the only country that can deliver upon its promises when it comes to regional crises,” Adib-Moghaddam told the Tehran Times in an interview.
Adib-Moghaddam also said, “Iran has demonstrated that it is a reliable partner in times of crisis.”
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: Do you think that the signs of a paradigmatic shift are going to appear?
A: There are two principle analytical positions regarding the alliance between Israel and the United States. First, the Chomskyan position, which accentuates that Israel is a perfect facilitator for U.S. national interests in the Arab and Muslim world. According to this and similar views, Israel is the “white outpost” of the West. The country acts as an extension of imperialist dominance and it is implicated in the neo-colonial subjugation of the region. The second position, represented by Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, and others, is slightly different. Walt and Mearsheimer in particular argue that Israel is a liability to U.S. foreign policies, that it is not rational for the United States to acquiesce into everything Israel does, and that it is not in the national interest of the U.S. to be so staunchly on Israel’s side. From this perspective, there are “irrational” factors, such as the financial support that U.S. senators receive from pro-Israeli lobbying organizations, such as AIPAC, that prevent the rational choice, i.e. to develop a rather more balanced diplomacy towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In recent decades public opinion and attitudes of mainstream politicians in Europe and the United States (including Obama) have started to move towards the latter direction, slowly but surely. For Obama, it is very difficult to disentangle entirely from Israel, not at least because of the sway that AIPAC and others have over the U.S. Senate. At the same time, he has engendered a nuanced shift in U.S. attitudes and policies towards Israel. I am sure as an individual he is appalled by the brutality of Israel. As a politician he thinks it prudent to fortify a rather more balanced approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which enables the United States to operate with more legitimacy and soft power in the Muslim world. Obama is not George W. Bush. He has carefully shifted away from the wholesale support of Israel that is characteristic for Republican administrations. I wouldn’t call it a paradigmatic shift quite yet, but a nuanced change it is.
Q: What is the long-term and mid-term regional security order coming out of the crises in Iraq, Syria, and Palestine going to look like? Will we witness new alliances in the region, especially after the crisis in Iraq?
A: I always thought it likely that the states in Iraq and Syria will rescue themselves from the current crisis and that Iran’s alliance will grow stronger exactly because Iran has demonstrated that it is a reliable partner in times of crisis and that it can deliver. Once Iraq and Syria are pacified, there shall emerge a strong alliance between these two countries and Iran, which will give new impetus to the Palestinian cause as well. At the same time, this Arab-Persian asabiyyah [cohesion] is likely to tame Saudi Arabia’s adventurous regional foreign policies and marginalize it from the core of the Arab world. At that stage, bringing Saudi Arabia into the fold will be even more central. In the long term, I think a systematic Iranian-U.S. rapprochement is inevitable. The U.S. is already realizing that Iran holds many keys to the region’s problems and that it is probably the only country that can deliver upon its promises when it comes to regional crises. Hence, the Persian-Arab asabiyyah may well have an American angle.