There is a fierce debate in both the United States and Iran about the possible implications of a nuclear agreement for broader relations between the two states after thirty-five years of conflict. Optimists argue that a breakthrough could lead to extensive coordination on regional issues—most notably in working together to combat the common threat posed by ISIS. Pessimistscounter that opposing interests will continue to lead to, and could even deepen, competition and conflict between Iran and the United States after an agreement.
The reality likely lies somewhere in the middle. If Iran and the P5+1 can successfully negotiate a nuclear agreement, there will indeed be a historic opportunity to improve communications and cooperate on areas of common interest such as maritime security and Afghanistan. However, cooperation in fighting ISIS beyond basic de-confliction of military operations is unlikely to yield positive results and could actually hurt U.S. efforts by alienating key Arab partners.
Read the full article at The National Interest.