How Lausanne Agreement Can Affect Domestic Order in Iran?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mohammad Mansouri Boroujeni
Ph. D. Candidate of Public Law, University of Tehran

On April 2, 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group reached a nonbinding agreement, which can provide a roadmap to be used to find a comprehensive solution to Iran's nuclear dispute after the lapse of almost 12 years. The authors and experts in international law have talked a lot about direct impacts and main dimensions of this agreement and will continue such discussions in the future.

The sole point that should be said here is that we hope all lawyers across the world – especially those working in high posts of the US government – will be unanimous on this fact that accepting Iran's right to uranium enrichment, even though with certain restrictions for a certain period of time, will mean accepting Iran's interpretation of Article 4 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Nuclear powers believed that the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes has nothing to do with the right of NPT member states to enrich uranium as well. Now, Iran and other non-nuclear countries have correctly made them accept that taking peaceful advantage of nuclear energy cannot be possible in the absence of enrichment.

Such a difference in interpretations has been the root cause of the dispute over Iran's nuclear program over the past years and I hope it has been resolved now. Given this very important root cause of the difference, we must not think that the Lausanne agreement will mean a return to conditions that existed eight years ago. Quite on the contrary, it means that a very important development has taken place and a step has been taken forward in the history of taking advantage of nuclear energy. The agreement in Lausanne will most probably amount to accepting Iran's rights by those powers that previously denied them.

Despite these facts, the main subject of this article, more than being international law aspects of the Lausanne agreement – which I hope would be covered adequately by relevant experts – is about domestic laws. Due to my specialty in law, I asked one question during all the months that led to the Lausanne agreement: What would be possible impacts of an agreement between Iran and the East and West, especially the United States, on domestic order in Iran? I maintain that the Lausanne agreement and the road map in which medium- and long-term provisions have been set for an understanding to be reached between Iran and the West over nuclear misunderstandings can be considered as a sign of the United States’ submission before Iran. It also means that Washington has come to the understanding, though belatedly, that following Iran's Revolution in 1979, the large-scale social order in Iran has changed.

It seems that the United States has formulated its Iran strategy on the basis of the former social order in the country and has been pursuing the same strategy up to the present time. The United States had decided to assume that the Revolution is a temporary phenomenon and the Islamic Republic would be there for a short period of time. On this basis, it launched a proxy war against Iran, attacked Iran's civilian aircraft, and used any opportunity to undermine the new order established in the country. In doing so, Washington aimed to achieve its major goal, which was to have a Middle East without the Islamic Republic of Iran or, at least, not with a powerful and vast Iran, but an Iran divided into many blocks.

Of course, this approach taken by the United States has had certain impacts on domestic order in Iran. The most important result of such an order was that domestic situation in Iran changed from a normal and regular one to an emergency situation requiring rapid reaction. The first thing that is usually victimized under such emergency situation is the government’s obligations toward its citizens. This means that the government would have to put emergency limitations on the rights of citizenship because it has to pass over the details of those rights in order to maintain general political order and actual security. Domestic legal norms, on the other hand, are somehow like the product of security. Therefore, when a country is facing threats against its security, it would not be strange for a government to forego some of its obligations under present circumstances in order to secure the future. Legal norms, especially those related to human rights obligations of government in the face of their citizens, also known as citizenship rights, are also among the first victims of extraordinary or urgent conditions. Basic rights will not come to the surface and become objective as long as they have not become part of the political practice and experience of a country. Tradition is also a product of the situation and when the situation is emergency, nobody can expect regularity and normality to become tradition, but on the contrary, suspension of social rules and abnormality turns into social tradition.

It is true that modern governments are national governments based on the social contract among nations. However, national governments cannot be considered limited to self-determination right of the nations. Another dimension of the modern government, which is dissimilar to past empires, is recognition of the outside world and its impact on the face of national governments.

Although the Iranian people launched their revolution about four decades ago and created a new new constitutional order, there were still many countries in the world, which had not accepted the right of Iranian nation to self-determination. This issue had made it difficult for the new government to instill order inside the country.

The new domestic order had its roots in a new Constitution whose Article 9 required the government to protect both the independence of the country and freedom of its citizens. However, foreign conspiracies and the impact of interventionist approaches taken by the Western states against Iran, prompted the new Iranian government to incline more toward protecting the country’s independence in order to keep the new governing system alive.

However the relatively unpredictably of the domestic legal order in Iran is related to certain historical and geographical characteristics of Iran and Iranians, but it is also rooted in instability among Iran's borders and sustained threats posed by those countries that consider themselves as leaders of the world.

If the agreement reached in Lausanne progresses smoothly, is not barred by unexpected moves, and ends in a comprehensive agreement, which will lay out medium- or long-term obligations of Iran and the West for a period of 10-15 years, it will mean that the West has come to grips with the reality of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Continuation of the Lausanne agreement will mean that the United States has changed its strategy toward Iran on the basis of recognizing the reality of the Islamic Revolution, and has decided to replace hostile measures aimed at eliminating the Islamic Republic in favor of hostility aimed at reducing the degree to which Iran can meet its interests. In this way, doing away with external threats to totality of the Islamic Establishment will provide the country with a good opportunity to promote the freedom-based practice that has been stipulated by the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a result, a new era will begin in the life of the Islamic Republic in which the country will see normal conditions in the world around it. I hope that the West would not disrupt the course of this important historical experience of the Iranian nation and would not prevent evolution of its outcomes by untimely interventions under the pretext of such issues as the situation of human rights and harboring terrorism by Iran, which are actually used as arbitrary instruments. The experience of the past almost four decades has shown that even in case of such interventions, the political system of Iran will be able to adapt itself to new conditions in order to survive.

Key Words: Lausanne Agreement, Domestic Order, Iran, P5+1, Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), United States, Human Rights, Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mansouri Boroujeni

Source: Fararu Analytical News Website
‏Translated By: Iran Review.Org

*Photo Credit: Jam News

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