The West should swallow its pride and work with Russia to save the Middle East

Alexander Yakovenko is Russia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom

The successful conclusion of talks with Iran on its nuclear program was a rare bright spot on the otherwise gloomy horizon of the Middle Eastern affairs. That is a fundamental breakthrough, including in terms of political psychology, upon which, in theory, a sustainable regional architecture could be built.

First of all, given a lot of opportunities missed, including the Mohammed Khatami presidency and the late entry of Washington into the diplomatic process, it represents a triumph of common sense – of Westphalian principles and the diplomatic method over ideology, political conjuncture and threats of force. The deal reached between the main protagonists, helped by the multilateral environment and the flexibility it provides for give and take, testifies to a truth now universally acknowledged nowadays: that problems, both international and domestic, have no military solutions. It is highly encouraging that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as such regional powers like Germany and Iran, subscribed to this notion.