According to Raghida Dergham, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Beirut Institute, the current situation in the Middle East may be one in which one has to "wait and see" what will happen to Russian-American relations. In the United States, there is a division of points of view regarding Russia among the elites. As to Ukraine and Crimea, there hardly can be chances of a Big Bargain between Moscow and Washington. However, such chances exist for the Middle East. There are many areas for cooperation in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and even Lebanon. A solid solution regarding all those countries is required.
The factor of Iran is very important. We cannot make interests of Russia secondary to the interests of Iran. The US position toward Iran now will be different. If Russia fights together with Iran in Syria, there is problem of improving relations between Russia and the Sunni world. Iran proclaims itself leader of all Shia's. There is a contradiction, because Russia insists that Syria must be secular state, but its main ally there, Iran, is a theocratic state. In any case, Russia should develop relations with the Gulf States, no matter what will happen with the future policy of the United States.