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How to kick-start Iran-US regional cooperation

Opponents of the nuclear deal in the West should understand that efforts to undermine the JCPOA only serve to reinforce in the minds of Iranians the notion that the United States cannot be trusted or engaged with on regional or other issues.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 22, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTX2B9VC
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Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently accused the United States of “obstructing and damaging Iran’s economic relations with other countries” — in spite of the nuclear deal. This was proof, he said, of America’s “lack of commitment” to its promises, making further talks on regional issues a “deadly poison” that Iran must avoid.

Meanwhile, the Middle East is on the verge of a historically unprecedented collapse. The regional wellsprings of civilization — the Iranian plateau, the Nile River Valley and Anatolia (corresponding with the modern states of Iran, Egypt and Turkey) — are all under severe duress. Two of these three civilizational pillars are teeming with internal strife and discord. The continued stability of Iran is now all that stands between the region and all-consuming chaos.

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