BEIRUT—The extension of nuclear negotiations between Shi’a Iran and world powers over Tehran’s illicit nuclear program and the prospect of a permanent deal are fueling fear among Sunni naysayers that extends far beyond nukes. A thawing of relations with the West through continued diplomacy may well go far in uniting minority groups in the Middle East with the same strategic interest: opposition to Sunni rule.
This scenario may not be far-fetched. For many Sunnis, the extension only plays into Iran’s geopolitical interests. They say the extension ultimately could result in warmer relations with Western powers in order for Tehran to continue supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, coordinate with world powers to retain a Shi’a-led government in Iraq, and keep pressure off Hezbollah in Lebanon in order for the party to prevent Sunni extremists from emerging inside the country.
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