Another relationship that such a shift would affect is that between the US and Israel, especially as Israel also views Iran as being the main destabilizing player in the region. These rifts between Iran and almost every other Arab power have largely shaped US-Iranian relations in the past decade. In the aftermath of the US’ overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the Arab Spring movements, the US and Iran have been pitted in intense battles for influence in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq (Singh 1).
While US officials continue to state that military action against Iranian nuclear installations remains an option, several developments in the Middle East have acted to realign relations between the two countries. The need for cooperation between Iran and the US in ensuring successful political transition in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in coordinating a successful military operation against ISIS, has worked to align both countries’ foreign policy (Cullis 1). One notable result of this lull in political tensions has been the US government’s softened stance towards Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. As a result, even with US foreign policy still identifying Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey as its closest ally, the convergence of Iranian policy and US policy has led to common interests. However, rather than being part of a conscious change in US foreign policy, it is more of a geo-political reality. President Obama’s administration has stressed that the US is not coordinating the ISIS effort and regional policies with Iran, although the recent intensive negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program has led to increased understanding (Cullis 1).
For analysts like Laura Rozen at Al-Monitor, however, the chance for any rapprochement between Iran and the US is slim at best, if the history of