Did John Kerry and Obama actually believe that Iran would be willing to ‘work’ with them? Check out how the ‘Iran Deal’ has emboldened the Iranian politicians even more so.
From the US government’s perspective, the rules of the nation-state systems and existing international norms suggest that if the US does a favor for a country (in this case, the Islamic Republic), Tehran will absolutely reciprocate. But unfortunately what many so-called Iran policy makers, in the West, do not comprehend is that Iran’s domestic and foreign policies are not shaped the same way that those of other modern nation-states’ are informed.
Iran’s domestic and foreign policies are shaped by the interactions and contradictions among three concentric circles of forces, rather than solely by national interests. (I will not delve into these three pillars in this article)
Currently, the ruling clerics of Iran are empowered and emboldened to an unprecedented level, where they are launching ballistic missiles, in the midst of the day, for the world to see. I can not imagine that these open, belligerent and provocative actions would have ever happened if the Islamic Republic was still under UNSC sanctions, or if the White House was not following the carrot-but-no-stick policies.
The Islamic Republic is publicly acknowledging their IRGC role in helping the Syrian dictator, and publicly galvanizing the Shiite proxies, and giving birth to more Shiite militias, to fuel the sectarian conflict.
Americans thought that the US relief of sanctions against the Islamic Republic and the appeasement policies, would definitely generate a favorable reaction from Iranian leaders towards the US. But again, Western politicians appear to be naive in comparison to their Iranian counterparts.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who previously gave his blessing to Rouhani’s nuclear team and congratulated them for reaching a nuclear deal with the P5+1, is now turning the trend around after he has achieved his objectives, after IRGC and Khamenei has received billions of dollars, after Iran’s ruling politicians witnessed Obama’s weakness, and after Khamenei became confident that UNSC sanctions can not be snapped back anymore thanks to Russia and China’s veto power in the UN Security Council.
In fact, Khamenei appears to be preparing the field to pull out of the nuclear deal, which is President Obama’s utmost nightmare. President Obama has shown that he will do anything to maintain the nuclear deal- his foreign policy legacy and “accomplishment”- intact.
In Iran’s politics, Obama’s concessions and appeasement attitude mean weakness. The more you give the ruling clerics, the more they want and the more they are empowered to pursue their regional hegemonic ambitions. These are basic rules. Elementary reading of Middle Eastern history would tell Iran’s policy makers about these basic rules of how politics works in Middle East.