Sunday, 17th December 2017

Iran’s nuclear talks and the West

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BY ARIFA JABEEN

With the third round of Iran G6 talks approaching, nothing could really be said about the outcome. While change of regime altered Iran’s staunch opposition and avenues for talks went open, Iran agreed to the terms and resultantly sanctions were softened enough to get their economy back in shape.

But would Iran really be willing to be ordered this time, let's hope.

It was in 1950 when Iran started working on nuclear technology, Shah with a good dictatorship quality believed, a more educated population, urbanization and technological advancements are the essential factor in Iran’s future.  United States started supplying military equipment’s and also increased the number of advisors in Iranian civilian and military program, US aid was also increased to make it strongly anti-communist and suppress the disseminating ideology of Russia.

By 1957 Iran was trusted with nuclear technology that led it to peruse nuclear research under the (CENTO), that gave a spark to Iranians’ nuclear power. Though Iran after 1979 (Islamic revolution) lost its alliance toward western states, but Iran was still negotiating with China for facilitating the fuel cycle  and with Russia for the reestablishment of Bushehr power plant. Likewise, Iran got a huge progress in the nuclear program.

Iran's nuclear deal has perpetuated a new global debate after the last November Geneva accord. Iran convincing and negotiating with six powers, i.e., U.S.A, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany has raised questions that: Is Iran getting space for continuity of nuclear development or the powers have influenced it for the prohibition of the nuclear program? Tehran has constantly tried to convince the International community and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that its nuclear program is for peaceful purpose and strategically, it is not violating any of the treaties it has signed. Iran has signed treaties abominating the ownership of weapons of mass destruction, including the Biological weapons convention, Chemical Weapon convention and the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The powers mutually conceded that Iran should have some nuclear enrichment, but the final decision was left pending for future evacuations.  

Middle East, meanwhile, is indulging into serial religious and ethnic conflicts, if Iran continues with the momentum of the nuclear program and gets nuclear strength, then it will provide Saudi Arabia a green signal to initiate nuclear activities.  It is pertained to note that though both are Muslim majority countries following Islamic scripture, but the bilateral relation between the two countries have been stressed over geopolitical issues such as interpretation of Islam, oil export policy and strategic relationship with US and the west. After 9/11 the bilateral relationship is waxed with tension over nuclear program of Iran and its intervention in the Middle East. Iran and Saudi Arabia, primarily, but other regional countries such as UAE, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt are supporting different groups in the domestic political fights to increase their influence in the region. Iran supports Hezbollah and different Iraqi Shia militias, as well as the regime of Bashar al-Assad contrarily; Saudis support both more secular and Salafi groups in Syria fighting Assad. These political and ideological clashes are carving a path for Iran in gaining nuclear strength. Though, Iran nuclear program is constantly under International scanner, Israel shows deep concern over its mechanism and threat of mass destruction. Israel proclaims to take military action against Iran if needed for the stability of the Middle East and particularly for making its own state more safe. Israeli thinks that defeating ISIS and allowing Iran with the development of nuclear weapons would be a defeat against Islamic extremism.

Although Israel and Iran at the moment are having a common enemy that is ISIS, but Israel just because to put down ISIS will never let Iran to be a nuclear state, it will be like winning  a battle in order to lose war for Israel. If Iran acclaims to protect its sovereignty, pitches ISIS a serious threat for its identity and acquires nuclear strength , it will  entangle serious questions for Iran and US how to ensure and grab confidence of  the rest of the world about the effective use of weapons against terrorism and to show Iran  a peaceful and safe country for the globe. It can limit the ties of US with Israel, Arabian countries and some European countries.

Though some Europeans who are in favor of Iran’s nuclear program are seeking opportunities in the Iranian markets and want to establish relationship with Iran for economic ties.  Iran seems quite confident and is optimistic about the decision that will take place in the end of November but hopes all the sanctions will be terminated against it. The IAEA has shown concerns related to Iran cooperation in examining the nuclear documents so US government has advised John Kerry to meet the Iranian officials before the deadline to make the process and deal more meaningful.

 The Incredible shrinking commitment of the Obama administration to stand firm against the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East made the Iran nuclear talk more difficult, And if Iran would not be stopped from producing nuclear weapons, then Israel might get the mileage to impose war against Iran. So, the November  is not only a deadline for Iran, it is also the deadline for US and the five powers to settle down the final agreement witnessing the geopolitical situation of the region.

U.S should resolve the issue more diplomatically through  international pressure and secondary sanctions against third country entities doing business with Iran  and economic sanctions from U.S shouldn’t removed that  can most likely increase the cost of a nuclear program that would result in less progress of it.

Arifa Jabeen is a student of 'Defense and Diplomatic studies' at the Fatima Jinnah Women University,Rawalpindi

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