Iran's Nuclear Deal with P5+1: Facts and Mythical Analyses

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mehrdad Pahlevani
Asia Analyst

The nuclear deal concluded between Iran and the West does not have a long way to go before finalization, but it is still overshadowed by viewpoints asserted by Iran’ supervisory institutions as well as the US Congress. Arguments continue between proponents and opponents of the nuclear deal in Iran, the United States, and even in other countries, who choose to reflect their viewpoints through analyses, interviews and essays. The opponents constitute a wide spectrum from those who oppose the agreement in essence to those who believe that more concessions should have been taken from the opposite side during the negotiations. Proponents, on the other hand, believe that the nuclear deal achieved on July 14 was the most available, the most possible and the most practical agreement on which the viewpoints of the two sides of the agreement converged. Existence of various viewpoints about this agreement, which emanate from personal inferences, partisan views, parallel and conflicting interests, and even friendships and hostilities, has made understanding the true nature of this agreement a difficult task. In other words, the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 is now suffering from an amalgam of facts and mythical analyses.

What is considered as the true nature of the nuclear agreement can be summarized in the following points:

1. Following 12 years of disputes, the two sides finally decided to prefer diplomacy over non-diplomatic pathways. During all these years, Tehran’s nuclear program was a factor that caused continued tension between Iran and the West. Now, difficult and intricate pathways have been replaced with new ones that entail lower cost and higher benefits for both sides of the nuclear dispute.

2. The content of the nuclear agreement reached on July 14 was the outcome of many months of arguments as well as rational, technical and specialized assessment, and every effort was made not to give any room to mythical and imaginary viewpoints and analyses as well as repetitive accusations. The high importance that was attached to realities caused US Secretary of State John Kerry to announce that the nuclear talks with Iran were not focused on Iran's past nuclear activities, but Washington had its sights set on Iran's nuclear activities in the future.

3. The United Nations Security Council, as the highest-ranking international body, adopted Resolution 2231 and by shifting from its past viewpoints, accepted the reality that Iran is just an ordinary international actor. Before the Security Council’s acceptance, the European Union took the first step in recognizing Iran as an ordinary actor.

4. The role of Iran in international system should not be restricted to its energy resources, its situation along major transportation routes, its capacity to connect the East to the West, or its area and population. The reality of Iran goes far beyond the aforesaid domestic capabilities and the role it plays in the most sensitive and most critical region in the world, that is the Middle East, cannot be denied by any means. Few, if any, issues in the Middle East can be resolved without Iran and the experience of developments in the region from Lebanon to Afghanistan as well as the course of the ongoing developments in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, confirm Iran's important regional role. Therefore, resolution of Iran's nuclear issue means the West is now more aware of the true capacities of Iran.

5. The realistic Europeans have come to grips with the importance of Iran's economic might before others and this is why many European delegations are waiting for Iran's green light to travel to Tehran. It is very easy to differentiate between political will and nonpolitical will. Economic institutions, especially nongovernmental trade sectors, are often profit-oriented and as long as they have not been pressured by a political will, they have nothing to do with that political will. On the opposite, the political will is usually an artificial and made-up will that is mostly specific to governments. For this reason, the number of requests submitted by private and nongovernmental sectors of the United States and Europe to return to Iran has been higher than the requests of the states. Of course, European states will finally have no choice, but to follow suit with this powerful wave.

Mythical analyses

Mythical analyses are viewpoints that more than being rooted in facts are result of various biases, illusions and analyses spurred by political stances and so forth. The main signs of many of these analyses can be summarized as follows:

1. Describing Iran's nuclear deal as a “historical mistake” by Israel is a mythical and biased opinion. How can one consider the result of many months of technical, expert and rational assessments as a historical mistake? Israel is essentially opposed to any form of increase in Iran's power and, therefore, it is no surprise that Tel Aviv is against this agreement. Banking on its lobbies and by circulating mythical analyses, Israel has shown that it is opposed to such developments as Iran's nuclear deal as a result of which Iran will attain the status of a powerful government.

2. Depicting “Iran as a threat to the region” is a myth cooked up by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, whose main sources of power include oil and other underground resources, is well aware that following the conclusion of Iran's nuclear deal, its power to control the current affairs of the Middle East will greatly diminish. Accumulated historical tensions between Tehran and Riyadh have forced Saudi Arabia to resort to rumors, scaremongering, and presenting the image of Iran as a “bad actor.” However, the rationality of the international community cannot adapt itself to the mythical views of Saudi Arabia and Israel and this is why the Security Council Resolution 2231 was adopted through positive vote of the absolute majority of its members.

3. Media onslaught is the most important tool used for the propagation of such mythical analyses. The Western opponents of the nuclear deal, who are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby and well funded by Saudi Arabia’s petrodollars, seek to highlight rumors about this agreement in order to derail it. The main propaganda lines of these media are focused on highlighting the “Iran threat,” “military option,” “Iran's destructive influence,” and things like that.

4. There are many instances that can be used to back up the negative attitude that Iranians have toward the United States, in particular, and the West, in general. If the United States’ goodwill over the recent agreement is real, it has to take serious steps to prove that and to dispel the negative attitudes of Iranians. Otherwise, Iranians will continue to view the agreement in the light of the past negative attitude.

5. “Violation of agreement” is another myth which is a result of ignoring all external facts surrounding the agreement. Just in the same way that the West does not want Iran to enrich uranium to high levels, Iran, for its turn, is not willing for Western sanctions to be reinstalled. Therefore, unwillingness to get back to conditions that existed in the past is the main inhibitory factor affecting both sides in a logical game.

Key Words: Iran, Nuclear Deal, P5+1, Facts, Mythical Analyses, West, US, Israel, European Countries, Violation of Agreement, Military Option, Iran Threat, Iran's Destructive Influence, Saudi Arabia, Historical Mistake, Proponents, Opponents, Pahlevani  

More By Mehrdad Pahlevani:

*Smart Power, Iran's New Brand:

*Iran's Capacities for Creating Security and Stability in Asia:

*Photo Credit: Fararu