Investing in Iran's people, Iranian influence in Syria, EU respect for sovereignty, 'Euroscepticism,' Greek lessons for Lebanon

A round-up of global commentary for the July 27, 2015 weekly magazine. 

Carlos Barria/AP
After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal Tuesday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions in an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world.

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Iran needs to invest in its people
“Well, they did it. After years of talks ... Iran, Russia, America, China and major European powers are on the same page...,” states an editorial. “Already the celebrations have begun.... This, then, is an historic moment for Iran and for Iran’s leaders. They face a crucial choice and an important test.... [I]t will take action, not words. With this new nuclear deal will come billions of dollars in released funds.... [If Iran uses the money] to build infrastructure, to invest in the talents of their people, and build a genuine, positive relationship with their neighbours, then there will be celebrations on this side of the Gulf as well.... If Tehran is serious about change, then the deal could be a real turning point in the modern history of the Middle East.”

Haaretz / Jerusalem
Nuclear deal allows Iran to maintain influence in Syria
“With the final terms of the Iran nuclear deal announced, there has been much speculation about what Iran will do with its newfound fortune,” writes Ari Heistein. “As part of the agreement, the P5+1 [China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States, and Germany] has agreed to unfreeze tens of billions of dollars in Iranian assets.... [T]his will enable Iran to continue propping up the [Bashar al-]Assad regime in Syria, further entrenching its regional hegemony and perpetuating the brutal role of Iranian-backed forces in the Syrian civil war.... One of Iran’s chief foreign policy interests is holding on to Syria ... due [to] Syria’s strategic location, which allows it to function both as a conduit for Iranian weapons to Hezbollah and as a second front against Israel.... [I]n all likelihood ... the nuclear deal will indirectly allow Iran to maintain or even enhance its control over Syria for the foreseeable future.”

The Telegraph / London
European Union isn’t respecting sovereignty
“What we are seeing in Europe is the complete and total failure of supranationalism...,” writes Nigel Farage, a British politician. “[W]ith the EU’s nauseating approach to Greek sovereignty, it is clear that more and more people are waking up to the dangers of this supranational beast sweeping aside national sovereignty completely. Many who had continued to believe until very recently that the EU was compassionate and forward-looking are beginning to realise just how backwards the whole project is.... After fighting two World Wars in order to preserve the concept of national democracy, we see a Europe where that very concept is being diluted into extinction by those who wish to see a United States of Europe.”

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland
Greek crisis will result in Euroscepticism
“The Greek crisis is likely to linger as a stain on the European Union for many years to come, regardless of how this crisis plays out,” writes Suzanne Lynch. “What began as a battle to stave off a Greek exit from the euro zone over recent weeks has turned into a battle to save the reputation of the European Union.... The democratic contradictions of the entire EU project have also been exposed by the Greek crisis. The question of how to balance the competing democratic rights of each member state with the collective federalism needed to make the EU work has been highlighted.... In the long run, anti-Europeanism is likely to be the only winner of the Greek crisis.” 

The Daily Star / Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanon should learn lessons from Greece
“The full economic and other ramifications of [the] referendum in Greece will require some time to emerge, but Lebanese should certainly reflect on what took place,” states an editorial. “Two lessons can be learned from Greece. Lawmakers should observe a real, functioning democracy in action and tone down their boasting about Lebanon’s political system, where tribal and sectarian and other narrow considerations win out. The second lesson is for ordinary people. It doesn’t matter who received more votes [in the Greek referendum], the important thing was that people had a real say, with real-world consequences.” 

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