Iran's Nuclear Agreement and the Process of Iran-West Détente

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tayebeh Mohammadikia
Doctoral Student of International relations; Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran

Iran's nuclear deal is an effective step toward expansion of relations between Iran and the West. This article is an effort to preset a clear image of the logic that underlay this agreement. The nuclear agreement can be considered as the result of the two sides’ determination to achieve improvement of their relations. The main point is that the effects of the nuclear agreement should be seen from the viewpoint of two “historic determinations:” the determination of world powers and the determination of Iran. In other words, such effects should be analyzed at two large-scale levels:

1. The first level (determination of the West): From this angle, we are witnessing relative repair of the damaged trust in Iran's relations with the West on the part of the Western countries. The continuous and optimistic participation of the P5+1 group of countries in nuclear negotiations was good evidence to this fact. A glance at the bilateral interactions following the agreement shows that we will be most probably faced with a chain of relations, which will end in step by step strengthening of trust between the two sides and in due time, global powers will show more serious signs of their determination which is geared toward sustainable and constructive interaction with Iran. More specifically, the tangible aspect of this kind of interaction can be seen in economic interest of big powers in cooperation with Iran. On the other hand, Iran's integration into the global economy as a result of the removal of sanctions will be followed with interdependence between economic interests of Iran and the Western countries.

In addition, establishment of continued economic relations and existence of common interests between Iran and the Western states will increase the need for more security in the region. In short, according to theories of common economic relations, this issue can play an important role in shaping common interests among countries. The role of economic relations between the two sides is of high significance in view of the importance of the Middle East region, especially the Persian Gulf region, in global economy.

2. The second level (Iran's determination): At this level, we are witnessing Iran's “lasting determination” for the establishment of more constructive and sustainable relations with the Western countries. This issue is evident in Iran's diplomatic initiative and its effort to establish relations geared toward agreement with powerful countries. This diplomatic behavior is important in that Iran, as an Islamic government stemming from the Islamic Revolution, shows an effective and perseverant determination and pursues it in global diplomacy. In other words, when analyzing Iran's determination in the course of the nuclear talks, the ideological aspect of this issue can be also taken into account. This consideration is brought up in relation with the Shia political Islam, as the main political discourse of the Iranian government. From this standpoint, existence of the Shia political Islam, which tries to reach a compromise with international community, can draw attention as a substitute for the extremist political Islam which is being promoted by the so-called jihadist groups.

The image that can be seen of Iran's determination in the course of the nuclear negotiations is as such: A Shia government, which for the first time in history of Shiism has been established as continuation of the Islamic Revolution that took place in the late decades of the 20th century – and despite experiencing tense relations in the past few decades – has engaged in negotiations with world powers aimed at establishing peace and stability, and has achieved a historic agreement in history of world diplomacy following the World War II. More importantly, this achievement has occurred at a time that the Middle East is going through hectic developments due to emergence of Sunni Salafist currents. This image of the Islamic Shia government can be introduced as a tolerant image of Islam in the arena of international relations; an image which represents a form of political Islam, which is committed to international order and interacts with other countries on the basis of trust.

To make a long story short, we are facing the interesting phenomenon of two effective diplomatic determinations for the resolution of the existing problems on the two sides of this agreement. These determinations will finally lead to logical relations, which will help promote security in the region. In fact, existence of these two determinations is sign of a special form of foreign policy behavior at global level.

Key Words:Iran, Nuclear Agreement, Iran-West Détente, Determination, Shia Government, Sunni Salafist Currents, Middle East, Mohammadikia

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*Photo Credit: Fars News