The Iran Deal and False Promises of International Organizations

Thursday, August 6, 2015

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

During about past four decades, incorrect, biased and unfair performance of international organizations (IOs), which was at odds with Iran's national interests, has been a major obstacle on the way of the normalization of Iran's ties with international community. Even following the achievement of the Iran deal on July 14, 2015, and adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 on July 20, 2015, incorrect mechanisms of international organizations are still a major threat to accurate, legal and fair implementation of the Iran deal.

The important factor here is possible unconstructive actions of international organizations and institutions, which would be at odds with Iran's interests, especially in view of the past record of these international actors during the last 70 years, which according to realistic interpretation of John Mearsheimer, has been based on false promises. This is why the feeling of insecurity has been one of the most important security concerns of Iran throughout about four past decades, and actions taken by IOs have been ineffective in dispelling those concerns.

Importance of this effective variable in relations between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries needs more attention in view of false promises of international organizations and institutions, which aimed to sacrifice Iran's interests within IOs during the past century. Also, the role of these organizations and institutions in verification of the obligations of Iran and the P5+1 in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is another point of significance. The question is “actions taken by which one of these actors can affect the implementation of the Iran deal and what can we expect these IOs to do in order to facilitate historical mission of the Iran deal?”

Important IOs like the United Nations, especially the Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union play a key role in the implementation of the Iran deal. The role played by the Security Council in the past few decades has been especially important due to its biased and unfair approach toward Iran as a result of the intervention of third countries in its decision-making process.

Therefore, the positive approach taken by the Security Council in adoption and formalization of the Iran deal through adoption of Resolution 2231 has been a unique and historical example in the history of the Council. Negative performance of the Security Council with regard to such crises as the Iran-Iraq war (1980—1988), the invasion of Iraq (2003), Iran's nuclear case (2003-2015), NATO’s Operation Unified Protector in Libya (2011), the coalition wars in Syria and Iraq and Yemen (from 2013 to the middle of 2015), the crisis in Ukraine (since 2014), and the fight against ISIS and rising extremism in the Middle East, has been characterized with frequent cases of false promises. It seems that playing a constructive role in Iran's nuclear case by the Security Council after the Iran deal was achieved on July 14, 2015, the Council is actually taking steps to mend its past ways.

The IAEA is another international institution that plays a role in the implementation of the Iran deal. The IAEA plays an especially important role in unbiased trust building and institution building for the implementation of the Iran deal in important technical fields. Major expectations that international community has from the IAEA is to play its role in facilitating the implementation of the Iran deal by doing its specialized job; to avoid presenting nontechnical reports, which do not conform to realities; and to avoid being influenced by big states.

The European Union (EU) is another major IO in this regard. Important and historical steps that EU can take with regard to the Iran deal include taking effective actions for management of the Iran deal, especially by supporting forthcoming negotiations and building trust through those talks, as well as making efforts to desecuritize the Iran issue in international interactions through confidence building, providing suitable grounds, making good use of diplomacy, and boosting trade and economic interactions with Iran.

The role that the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council [(P)GCC] can play in supporting the Iran deal would be a major test to show that the (P)GCC, as an important Arab regional organization, is revising its Iranophobic principles. Show of serious support combined with goodwill for the Vienna deal between Iran and the P5+1 by the (P)GCC will provide it with a strategic opportunity to redefine its position in international and regional interactions.

In addition, other IOs such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Arab League (AL), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) can take effective steps to support the Iran deal and in doing so, can do away with some limitations facing the Iran deal and boost the importance of such mechanisms in bolstering international peace and security.

The Iran deal is a remarkable opportunity to prove effectiveness of IOs in managing future developments at international and regional levels. For many years, international trust in these human assets (IOs) and their stabilizing role has been damaged due to false promises that they have made and their failure in fair management of international developments. If their performance goes back to the main track set for them upon their establishment for protection and promotion of international and regional peace, then the Iran deal would direct their activities and goal in the right direction. This would be a major stride toward peaceful coexistence among all international actors and, as put by Stephen Walt, could do away with “the mother of all worst-case assumptions about Iran.”

All international evidence and experiences indicate that even in the globalized world of today, international system will remain state-centric. However, positive role of IOs for the implementation of the Iran deal will give birth to a new generation of activities, performances, and dynamism by international organizations in complementarity with the special function of states as the most important actors which can establish or undermine stability at international and regional levels.

Key Words: Iran Deal, False Promises, International Organizations, Iran's National Interests, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Arab League (AL), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), UN, Security Council, Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranophobia, Khoshandam

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