Iranian women ride a boat on the Persian Gulf Martyrs lake during the ancient festival of Sizdeh Bedar, western Tehran, Iran, Thursday, April 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
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The consummation of a full, multidecade agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), based on last week's agreed parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program, is likely to have monumental consequences – mostly for the better – across the Middle East.An Iran that is trusted by – and keeps its nuclear agreements with – the world's powers will be seen as a party with whom one can negotiate and coexist.I expect this to happen because I do not see how Iran and Saudi Arabia actually threaten each other in practical ways, as opposed to their ideological differences. As they resume normal economic and political contacts in the years ahead, and continue to suffer the frightening expansion of ISIS and Al-Qaeda across fragmenting, war-torn Arab states, I would urge and hope that one more major development would occur: That the Arab-Islamic powers of the Middle East, with the support of global powers, would explore the establishment of a Helsinki-type agreement that allows ideologically different states to coexist without militarily threatening, undermining or attacking each other.
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