Iran and Israel –A Limited Rapprochement to Peace
Iran’s approach to its national security has been shaped by geopolitical, geostrategic and regional factors. Though the western world chooses to portray over reliance of Iran’s security policy on ideological dimensions, but it is the interplay of above factors within the flexible ideological contours, that guides Iran’s national policy.
The regional and international upheavals in the last decade have dramatically altered the geopolitical scenario of the Middle East, here after ME. Some of these changes had direct bearings on Iran’s national security. The situation in Syria, to Iran’s satisfaction, is slowly changing in favor of President Assad, whereas Iran continues to be a major player in Iraq. The Saudi initiative to cobble up a Sunni alliance against Iran has been a non-starter. Though Iran Israel rivalry has dominated the geopolitical and diplomatic discourse of the Middle East in the past decade, the ‘Nuclear Deal’, apart from easing tortuous international sanctions, has to a large extent blunted Israel’s rhetoric of a nuclear threat from Iran. At the regional and international level, the rise of Islamic State(ISIS) has shown the brutal face of Sunni radical extremism to the world. The threat from ISIS has thrown Iran, US and Israel on the same side of the fence . The unabated rise of ISIS is probably one of the major threats which Iran faces today. On the domestic front the 2009 demonstrations and growing economic strain have demanded immediate redressal steps. The election of President Rouhani is a manifestation of people’s desire to see a quick end to Iran’s international isolation .
Amidst these domestic and regional turbulences Iran needs to reorient its national security policy and look to ease some of these threats. At this critical juncture it seems prudent for Iran to review its national security policy towards Israel.
Reasons for Conducting Review
Economic security is one of the critical components of national security. Geopolitical imperatives and economic aspirations in the era of globalization have rendered national security and prosperity interlinked and interdependent with other regional and international players. In spite of being a leading energy producer, Iran’s over reliance on hydrocarbon exports proved disastrous, as these were crippled due to decade long international sanctions.The nine years of Iran -Iraq war left Iran with a debt of around 500 Bn USD. The international sanctions made the situation graver. The relaxation of sanctions post nuclear deal has provided Iran with an opportunity to rebuild its economic structure. Iran needs to diversify its economy and forge wide ranging trade relations as the economy demands an immediate puff of oxygen.
The extreme anti-Israel rhetoric of the past governments divested Iran of the fringe supporters it had in the European Union. The statements made over holocaust by the past regime contributed to the isolation of Iran....