Geneva Nuclear Deal a Historical Opportunity with Only a Win-Win or Lose-Lose Result

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mehr News Exclusive Interview with Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
By: Peyman Yazdani

Dr. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is Reader in Comparative Politics and International Relations at SOAS, University of London and the Chair of the Centre for Iranian Studies.In the following interview with Mehr news agency, he has answered questions about the recent nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers in the Swiss city of Geneva. The complete text of the interview follows.

Q: How do you see the outlook of the Geneva nuclear agreement?

A: I think the Geneva agreement was a historically important incident and all parties involved in it took eager steps toward the resolution of the nuclear standoff [between Iran and the P5+1 group]. I have repeatedly said that this opportunity should be taken advantage of once and for all in order to provide suitable grounds for the resolution of other issues and problems between Iran and the United States. In this way, clinching a strategic nuclear deal can be one of the most important means of achieving this goal. The most important obstacle on the way of achieving this goal are efforts made by radical groups on both sides, which in order to keep their domestic ideological supporters in place, need an external enemy. The more new grounds are broken in the area of diplomacy, the more vociferous will become protest outcries from such radical groups.

Q: What advantages will the recent interim nuclear deal as well as a possible ensuing final agreement over Iran's nuclear energy program have for the entire region?

A: Any kind of diplomatic agreement, which will reduce to a minimum the threat of war in the West Asia and North Africa, will also boost overall stability in those regions. For quite a while, we have been witnessing adoption of hostile and confrontational policies on international level. [Such policies were adopted] for example during the war against terror, which followed terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. These policies, however, have only led to increased insecurity in the world and massacre of countless innocent human beings. If a permanent agreement is reached on the nuclear program of  Iran [by all the parties involved in Iran's nuclear case], perhaps the United Nations would be hopefully able then to open a regional office in Tehran to pursue policies aimed at freeing the entire Middle East region from all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. In this way, necessary grounds would be laid for the establishment of a region free from weapons of mass destruction. Of course, this is currently only an idealistic aspiration.

In order to have a Middle East free from the weapons of mass destruction, such an effort should begin with Israel. Therefore, conclusion of a permanent nuclear deal which would recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium on its soil within framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) could serve as a good model for other regional countries that are bent on taking advantage of peaceful nuclear technology. Also by resolving its problems with the West, Iran will be able to reap such benefits as access to modern technologies, attraction of foreign investment, and entry into global markets.

Q: Will this agreement also help to bring the ongoing crisis in Syria to an end?

A: I believe that none of the ongoing regional crises can be solved in the absence of such important regional powers as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. As a result, development of relations between Iran and the United States can have positive effects, which would go much farther than the simple resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. What is needed for the resolution of the existing problems in the region, including the crises in Syria and Iraq, is the existence of an institutionalized security structure, which would be shaped on the basis of multilateral mentalities. None of the existing problems in the region can be solved in the absence of regional stakeholders and their transregional allies. This is an important fact which should be correctly be understood by both the United States and Iran.

Q: Will the West comply with its obligations?

A: The administration of [the US President Barack] Obama has made extensive political investment in the resolution of Iran nuclear case. At the same time, he is under tremendous pressure from rightwing radical Israeli groups and their supporters at the US Senate. Up to now, however, the US president has been able to withstand those pressures. If negotiations with Iran finally fail it would be the biggest political debacle in the entire course of Obama’s presidency and the same can be said for [the Iranian President] Dr. Hassan Rouhani as well. Therefore, I think, this entire process should be looked upon as a two-way game which will bolster the positions of the two sides. It should not be considered as a simple game of chess in which only one side will win and the other side is sure to lose.

Source: Mehr News Agency
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.  

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