The Iran Deal and Sense of Demonization

Friday, August 14, 2015

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

The dominant paradigm that has governed the West’s treatment of Iran during more than the past three decades has been based on the premise of demonization in bilateral relations due to hostility that has existed between these two actors. After the announcement of the conclusion of the Iran deal on July 14, 2015, the “sense of demonization” has been a major obstacle to the implementation of the Iran deal in addition to two other major barriers, which include a sense of insecurity and false promises of the international organizations.

The key to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) clinched by Iran and the P5+1 group is show of goodwill in negotiations between Iran and the six countries, at least, during the next three decades. Purposive ignorance and violation of the main principles of interaction with Iran as a result of Iranophobia will be a major mistake in correct management of the win-win Vienna agreement.

If, as put by Kissinger and Scowcroft, the goal of all efforts made to safeguard the nonproliferation regime is to maintain strategic stability at international level, then the international community in its interaction with Iran should stick to strategic actions aimed at maintaining sustainable stability. Procedures that arise from the JCPOA and international law for the peaceful settlement of disputes based on Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations will facilitate useful steps to be taken toward this goal.

If demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin was the result of lack of a consolidated policy on the part of the West and NATO toward Russia through the Ukraine crisis in 2014, in the case of Iran, pursuit of double standards toward Iran will be certainly the sign of the repetition of the frequent mistakes that the West has made with regard to this ancient civilization in the past decades. Such mistakes need to be corrected in the current stage of relations between Iran and the West. In the light of the Iran deal, both the West and Iran need to build trust in order to take steps toward the implementation of the JCPOA with good will and through correction of erroneous presumptions, approaches and attitudes. In this context, the best way to overcome the existing challenges in Iran's relations with the West is for both sides to understand each other better, not to move toward further escalation of their conflicts.

Understanding international actions of Iranians, which have their roots in various historical and psychological reasons, is difficult and complicated. Now, after a few decades of efforts by the West to isolate Iran, the way is paved for Iran's return to the international community, but first of all, correct understanding of Iran is necessary.

Demonization of Iran based on Iranophobia and ideas like those referred to by Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, constitute another side of the policy of simultaneous use of negotiations and threat with regard to Iran. Those who advocate adoption and implementation of the Iranian deal at all levels should be wary about false promises and confrontation in this regard.

The key responsibility in this regard is shouldered by strategists, think tanks, policymakers, and decision-makers that are in any way related to this issue. Due to their own traditions as well as complicated cultural, civilizational, historical, ethnic, political, social, identity-related, security civil, economic, geopolitical and strategic concerns, Iranians are apt to test various options under conditions that govern their foreign policy. Just in the same way that the P5+1 group seeks to regulate Iran's foreign policy behavior and strategic influence of Iran at national and international levels, Iran, on the other hand wants its national interests as well as international and regional rights to be recognized in the light of the Iran deal.

Recognizing historical pride of Iranians through reciprocal system building by Iran and the West in relation to the two sides’ security interests and common ground, and in the light of the Iran deal can be a major first step toward understanding Iran by the West.

Global conventional wisdom and the public opinion in the West at the beginning of the third millennium require that a responsible and civilized country like Iran be considered as a trustworthy partner in global system. Following the Iran deal, the Islamic Republic will set a new example in terms of interaction with the West, which cannot be compared to Russia, Finland, Germany, Vietnam, Cuba and Japan. The passage of time will prove this hypothesis that Iran's interaction with the West will be a unique example of coopetition in history of international system.

Key Words: Iran Deal, Sense of Demonization, US, West, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Trustworthy Partner, Foreign Policy Behavior, International Law, Khoshandam

More By Behzad Khoshandam:

*The Iran Deal and False Promises of International Organizations:

*The Iran Deal and Iran-EU Relations:

*The Iran Deal and Iran-China Relations: