Iran's Nuclear Issue in 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Behzad Khoshandam
Ph.D. in International Relations & Expert on International Issues

During 2015, the most fateful, historical and laudable trend of positive and constructive developments took place with regard to Iran's nuclear activities compared to the past 15 years.

Following the extension of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) in January 2013, the way was paved for serious talks between Iran and the P5+1 group after the Lausanne statement (April 2, 2015) and the crisis of fact sheets, and the path was clear for achievement of the final Iran deal on July 14, 2015. Although such variables as insecurity and demonization were considered as major factors threatening the Iran deal in early stages after the conclusion of the deal, later developments related to the Iran deal toward the end of 2015 showed that all involved parties were trying to keep the deal in place and boost its productivity.

The achievement of the Iran deal provided necessary ground for boosting Iran's strategic influence and brought about developments in Iran's relations with such actors as the United States, Russia, China, Arabs, the European Union (EU), the UK and international organizations in 2015. The Iran deal in 2015 also catalyzed changes in intentions, strategies, tactics and viewpoints of Iran and many other actors in such fields as nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament as well as with regard to building security, creating security and proxy wars in the Middle East.

Due to the effect of world order on Iran, the Iran deal in 2015 was both affected by and had effects on such international crises as Palestinian – Israeli crisis, and crises in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Remarkable comments have been made to explain the Iran deal from realistic and constructivist viewpoints. Issues affecting implementation of the Iran deal in 2015 can be considered as very important in explaining the Iran deal on the basis of the main theories of international relations.

Concurrent with major global developments such as the rise and increased activities of Daesh, application of the critical discourse to the restive Middle East region, emergence of the refugee crisis, and increased speed of military, strategic and political developments related to Syria crisis, the Iran deal provided grounds for Iran's participation in resolution of those crisis and helped the world take advantage of Iran's constructive and preventive capacities through context building on the basis of the choice of reconciliatory strategic necessity between Iran and the P5+1 group over Iran's nuclear program. Frequent invitations for Iran in the second half of 2015 and official participation of this country in various rounds of international talks on Syria were among serious outcomes of Iran's agreement with the P5+1 group over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue.

Another impact of the Iran deal in 2015 was more serious attention by Iran to international institutions. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), EU, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) were among these institutions. Although efforts made by Iran following the Iran deal to get closer to the member states of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council [(P)GCC) and the Arab League (AL) were not successful, dynamism of Iran's foreign policy with regard to Arab countries drew a lot of regional and international attention. The adoption through consensus of the UN Security Council resolution 2231 on July 20, 2015, was the most unprecedented and the most unique reconciliatory resolution in history of Iran's interaction with the Security Council and within the framework of the nonproliferation regime.

Serious attention can be also paid to the outcome of the Iran deal in view of developments that took place at the end of 2015, especially with regard to the crisis in Syria and terrorist attacks in Paris on October 13, 2015, which were affected by the situation of various forces and actors in the Middle East and their impact on important peripheral regions of the Middle East such as Europe.

When it comes to adoption, implementation, transition and termination of the Iran deal, its implementation can be taken into account over 8-, 10-, 15-, and 25-year outlooks as well. After approval of the Iran deal in the parliaments of the member states of the P5+1 group and following closure of Iran’s PMD case at the Board of Governors of IAEA in December 2015, a serious step was taken by the P5+1 to end unfair discrimination and illegal approaches to Iran's nuclear issue in IAEA. Therefore, despite harsh criticism of the Iran deal both inside and outside Iran in 2015, this agreement put an end to a series of discriminatory trends in the nonproliferation regime, which finally and through Iran's diplomatic insight, provided ground in 2015 for termination of unjust bilateral, multilateral, and international sanctions against Iran.

In the light of important global developments, the Iran deal has been one of the greatest achievements of Iran's global diplomacy in 2015. Implementation of the Iran deal will be a major criterion for regulation of Iran's relations with international community and for normalization of interactions with Iran as an effective country through the next three decades. During forthcoming decades and years, the Iran deal can be discussed as one of the most important tests for the development of general international law. Iran’s maximum participation in protection and safeguarding of the nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament regime, which has a record of about 100 years, will be possible for 100 years beyond 2015, and will contain didactic, reliable and discussable points about whose positive aspects the history of the next century of international diplomacy will certainly pass many judgments.

Key WordsIran, Nuclear Issue, 2015, international Institutions, Middle East, Europe, PMD Case, Board of Governors, IAEA, Global Diplomacy, Nonproliferation, Arms Control, Disarmament

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*Photo Credit: AEI