Confrontation between 5+1 Package and Iranian Package

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bahman Hedayati 

New Station for Nuclear Train

Under current circumstances and after issuance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803 against Iran’s nuclear activities, although many experts expected the Islamic Republic of Iran to behave as other countries had previously acted in the face of Security Council resolutions, breaking news about presentation of Iran’s package to 5+1 which was followed by a similar announcement by 5+1 amazed international observers and introduced new conditions regarding Iran’s nuclear dossier.

Strategic objectives pursued by 5+1 in offering their new incentives package, which is quite similar to a previous package which had been offered in June 2006, can be divided in the following categories:

1-    The first goal of 5+1 is to throw the ball in Iran’s court and to create political and psychological ripples. However, a reciprocal package introduced by Iran has posed a major challenge to 5+1.

2-    Building up the needed support for Security Council resolutions is one of the most important reasons for offering incentives to Iran. In reality, due to political nature of Security Council resolutions, they are faced with legitimacy crisis and many problems in implementation and Iran’s defiance of those resolutions will cost the West dearly. Therefore, 5+1 should try to stop that trend or divert the world public opinion.

On the other hand, since 5+1 knows that Iran will not accept any incentive that would involve suspension of enrichment, which has been announced by Iran as its red line, they are trying to present a semi-diplomatic approach (in addition to hard methods used by the Security Council) and either impose suspension on Iran, or introduce the country as being in noncompliance with diplomatic solutions.

3-     Another reason for presentation of a new 5+1 package was special efforts made by China and Russia to be more active in Iran’s nuclear case. According to reports, China and Russia are more interested in presenting the incentives package to Iran and maintain that the package would prevent the case to take a more radical turn. On the other hand, the radical bloc of 5+1 led by the United States has been apparently unwilling for the new package to be offered and US secretary of state has claimed that Iran would not accept the package.

The most important component of the existing atmosphere is confrontation between Iran’s incentive package and that of 5+1, which includes incentives in return for uranium suspension by Iran. This trend has apparently taken the place of direct negotiations between Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana.

However, other factors like the arrangement of win–win game, realism, and efforts made to reach a fair solution for the case can also determine the final winner of this confrontation. It seems that 5+1 has no more to offer. However, political and media circles have taken Iran’s package seriously and this has increased sensitivity and importance of Iran’s proposed package.


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