US-Iran ties 'move into state of detente,' officials tell Wall Street Journal

As tensions with Israel escalate over its policies on the Palestinian front, the United States appears to be growing closer to its longstanding rival Iran.

October 29, 2014 08:30
Protesters mock Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama

Members of international advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks of Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani (R) and US president Barack Obama, outside the UN headquarters in New York. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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As tensions with Israel escalate over its policies on the Palestinian front, the United States appears to be growing closer to its longstanding rival Iran.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday quoted senior US and Arab officials as saying that Washington and Tehran have “moved into an effective state of détente over the past year.”

The warming ties have the potential to dramatically shift the geopolitical balance in the region, as America’s traditional Sunni Arab allies as well as Israel have always been suspicious of Iran’s intentions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the shift in relations is a byproduct of the converging of interests in the region on a number of fronts. Both the Americans and Iran share common goals, like overseeing a smooth transition of power in Baghdad as well as the defeat of Islamic State.

Interestingly enough, the report also stated that the shift in tone is also manifest in the US’s softened approach toward Hamas and Hezbollah. During Operation Protective Edge, US Secretary of State John Kerry engaged Hamas’s chief sponsor, Qatar, in cease-fire negotiations.

Officials also told The Wall Street Journal that American intelligence has assisted Lebanese defense agencies with close ties to Hezbollah, warning them of imminent terror attacks by Sunni extremist groups like al-Qaida, ISIS, and Nusra Front.

US officials said that the Obama administration has used the ongoing nuclear negotiations as an opening to expand cooperation on other issues, and that Washington has relayed messages to the Islamic Republic through envoys in the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad.

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