Khamenei's defeat bodes well for Iran. After the crippling sanctions and the shadow of a possible war with the U.S. are lifted, Iran's economy will begin to improve and Western investments will begin to flow into the country. With an improved economy and the absence of a threat to Iran's national security, democratic groups inside the country will be able to raise their voice and demand lifting of the security environment that has pervaded Iran since the Green Movement of 2009-2011.
As a potential catalyst for further diplomatic means of conflict resolution, the comprehensive agreement provides a unique opportunity to seriously engage Iran and possibly alleviate these tensions. Given the significant ramifications that these openings may herald for the future of Iran-Arab world ties, it is more important than ever to engage and analyze viewpoints from scholars and analysts based in the region on the future of Iran's role in the Middle East and Arab security.
HONG KONG -- My Iranian friend who has family in the U.S. told me, "you can drive the length and breadth of the U.S., but you will not find a single place with anything like the culture you will find just here at Imam Square. Why do they think we will bow to them?" U.S. and European negotiators will do well to remember these words of a young businessman and not those of a religious fanatic. They should stroll through the bazaars of Isfahan and Shiraz if they have any second thoughts about inking the agreement with the Iranians.
The June 30 deadline for the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany -- to reach a comprehensive agreement has once again been extended. Both the supporters and opponents of the agreement in Iran and the United States have intensified their efforts. But a speech on June 23 by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has attracted wide international attention.