Academics and specialists in Iranian affairs agreed on the importance of the prisoner exchange deal that took place between Iran and the United States with Qatari mediation, which also led to the release of Iranian funds that were held in South Korea, likely to reflect positively on the files of the region and may establish new understandings.
In this context, Dr. Abdullah Al-Shayji, a professor of political science at Kuwait University, believes that there are breakthroughs coming to the region after the deal, in light of what he called Gulf-Iranian-American understandings.
He cited the truce that has been going on in Yemen for more than a year, the visit of a Houthi delegation to Riyadh for the first time since the outbreak of the war in 2015, and the absence of attacks on US forces in a long time.
Speaking to the "Beyond the News" program in its episode on (18/9/2023), Al-Shayji painted a future picture of the region, and said that there is an atmosphere of real calm, contrary to what some promote for a future war.
The professor of political science at Kuwait University stressed that the deal came to confirm this, as it will benefit everyone, describing Washington's recent dispatch of 3,<> military personnel to the region with the aim of deterrence, not war.
Dr. Fatima al-Samadi, a senior researcher at the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, agreed with Shayji's view, saying that regional files such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and others may have breaches similar to what happened in the deal.
The researcher specialized and expert on Iranian affairs stressed that these regional files are related to each other and that the solution of some of them may open the door to reach a solution in another file.
She promised what has been achieved as "building a margin of trust" in Iranian-Qatari relations and US-Iranian relations, despite the fact that the differences between Tehran and Washington are complex and have left their effects on the region's files.
However, it ruled out reaching a quick achievement regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, especially with Tehran's adherence to its conditions, despite its welcome to continue the negotiating process with Washington, to reaffirm that the solution lies in partial files and their penetration.
Gains by both parties
On the gains reaped by the two sides, Al-Shayji said that US President Joe Biden fulfilled his electoral promise not to leave any prisoner abroad, especially in Russia and Iran, and considered that Biden turned into a candidate more than a president with the approaching electoral entitlement for the White House.
In addition, Biden wants to satisfy the US wing opposed to Tehran and emphasize that the released funds are Iranian and not ransom as promoted by the Republican Party.
With regard to Iran, he pointed out that it is in a difficult economic situation in light of the sanctions imposed on it, which led to the collapse of its local currency and an increase in inflation rates.
On the other hand, Fatima al-Smadi described the deal as a positive diplomatic step for Iran, and stressed that its importance lies in its success in this partial file (prisoner exchange), and may contribute to solving the problem of the Iranian nuclear agreement, as a future crisis looms with the imminent end of its provisions related to the military aspects.
Regarding the statements made by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi regarding the deal and its being humanitarian, the researcher considered this as addressing the Iranian interior, and trying to reach the group opposed to the agreement, stressing that he knows that it is a reciprocal process resulting from a long negotiating process.
Regarding the aspects of disbursement of the detained Iranian funds, the expert on Iranian affairs is likely to be in the health sector in light of Tehran's great need for medicines, in addition to the existence of clauses in the agreement on how to spend them and Qatar's guarantee of the banking process.
Tribute to Qatar's role
The guests of the episode "Beyond the News" praised the Qatari role, which succeeded in recording an achievement after a marathon series of rounds of negotiations between Washington and Tehran, following the stalled negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement.
Dr. Fatima Al-Smadi referred to the development of Qatari-Iranian relations and their impact on the negotiation process and results, at a time when Al-Shayji said that Doha played an important role and succeeded in coming up with the equation of "everyone wins", and won the affection of the two arch-rivals.
Doha has repeatedly proven to be an influential player accepted by regional and international parties, noting that the deal was completed by a Qatari plane, in addition to that it will supervise the way Iranian funds that reached its banks were disbursed.