The International Crisis Group has welcomed the deal as the “best possible agreement”. and urges both the US Congress and Iranian Majlis to approve it.
It will not solve the region’s many other problems, neither the proxy wars pitting Iran against its neighbours nor the hostility that still embitters Tehran’s relations with the West. Indeed, in the short term at least, it is likely to reinforce the sense in regional capitals that Iran’s star is ascending, which could exacerbate the clashes along regional fault lines. Thus the achievement of this agreement, laudable in itself, is incomplete unless it prompts an effort by all the key stakeholders to secure a broader reduction in regional tensions with the goal of establishing an inclusive regional security framework.
Overcoming decades of animosity, both within the region and between Iran and the West, likely will prove even more challenging than reaching today’s accord. But as the past two years of arduous talks have shown, even seemingly intractable predicaments can be addressed through persistent and patient diplomacy.