By Farhad Koleini
Over the past few years, the controversial pro-Israeli U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross has been regarded as one of the main architects of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy, with a special focus on Iran.
He is known to be the initiator of the idea to attempt to disengage Russia and Syria from Iran with the goal of increasing the Islamic Republic’s isolation at the international level.
During the recent conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he announced his resignation as the special assistant to U.S. President Barack Obama and senior director of the Central Region at the United States National Security Council. He said he was resigning due to personal reasons, but it is believed that the real reason was his failure to isolate Iran at this critical juncture in Middle Eastern history.
The 62-year-old Ross is one of the founding members of the Middle East Forum. When Obama came into office, he was given the task of coordinating U.S.-Iran relations. Even though he is regarded as a pragmatic and moderate politician, his record clearly indicates that he is in line with the interests of Israel and the AIPAC lobby in the U.S.
He often criticized the U.S. foreign policy team over its approach toward Iran. As a result, many experienced U.S. diplomats who were seeking to increase interactions with Iran left the Iran policy department.
His resignation gives U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department a free hand in dealing with the Middle East and Iran.
The recent terrorist scenario, in which Iran was accused of attempting to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington, has seriously tarnished the image of the U.S. government at the international level. It is believed that the scenario was devised by Dennis Ross and was in fact the main reason for his resignation.
Over the past 12 years, he has played a significant role in drafting the plans for U.S. interventions in the Middle East, especially in the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, the formula prescribed by Ross produced no remedy.
He is also known as one of the proponents of the carrot and stick policy toward Iran, which, according to many political analysts, has produced no tangible results and has even been the main factor behind Iran’s decision to gravitate toward Russia over the past few years.
The U.S. administration is looking for a new policy for dealing with Iran and its allies because it has come to the conclusion that applying more pressure on Iran always backfires and the Iranian people and government are now capable of transforming threats into opportunities.