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What Stands Between Iran, P5+1 and A Final Deal

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hassan Beheshtipour

The sixth round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers started in Vienna on July 2. This round, which is the last in the run-up to the July 20 deadline for a final accord, is the most sensitive stage in the talks.

Regardless of suspicions and worries raised by both parties about the course of negotiations, everyone agrees on the fact that negotiations are the only solution for Iran and the six powers to reach a final accord.

However, the undeniable fact is that the two sides are mistrustful of one another. Due to this sense of mistrust, talks between Iran and the world powers have lingered on for more than ten years.

But the interim agreement reached in November 2013 showed that even in a climate of mistrust, a way out could be found because the only solution for building trust is to hold talks.

Now, we have to see what obstacles could impede a comprehensive nuclear accord between Iran and the six powers – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.

The main obstacles are as follows:

1. Repeating Baseless Allegations

Over the past ten years, the Islamic Republic has been cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within the framework of its legal obligations and the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)’s Safeguards Agreement. All nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic are under the full supervision of the UN nuclear monitoring agency.

But unfounded allegations about the nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program up to 2003 continue to be mentioned in official reports. In some cases, Iran has been asked to go beyond its legal obligations.

    Although the Islamic Republic is not obligated to accept the extralegal requests, it has done its utmost to remove ambiguities about its nuclear program through the modality agreements signed with the IAEA. There have been worries that the Western governments’ intelligence agencies would fabricate fresh allegations against Iran’s nuclear program.

A final nuclear accord would require that these unsubstantiated allegations about Iran’s nuclear energy program come to an end.

2. US, Israel Excessive Demands

Although the interim nuclear accord, signed in Geneva, makes it clear that the talks are focused only on the nuclear issue, the US and its allies have resorted to their own interpretation of an article referring to the United Nations Security Council to oblige Iran to answer questions about its missile power.

Iran deems it necessary to preserve its missile capability for protecting its interests against the US and Israeli threats. Iran’s nuclear negotiating team is not authorized to discuss the issue of missiles.

In 2005, excessive demands by the US and its allies killed chances for a deal. Repetition of the same mistake may forestall an agreement anew.

In recent months, Iran has adopted confidence-building measures about its nuclear program and the IAEA reports have confirmed Iran’s compliance. Under such circumstances, bringing about the issue of Iran’s missile capability under the pretext of their equipment with nuclear warhead could undo all previous achievements.

3. US Misanalysis of Sanctions

The US government and its allies continue to insist on their misguided analysis that the sanctions slapped on Iran could be instrumental in wresting concessions from the Islamic Republic. However, some US officials including Secretary of State John Kerry have acknowledged that the sanctions have not had any impact on Iran’s nuclear capability and that they have even encouraged Iran to improve its nuclear program.

    As long as the Americans do not give up their erroneous policy of “pressure and talks”, no comprehensive agreement with Iran could be envisaged. They have to accept that better results could be achieved should they pursue the “policy of cooperation and negotiations” instead. The Geneva agreement is a proof of this.

4. Israel Obstructionism

The Israeli regime pushes ahead with its attempts to hinder Iran’s nuclear talks with the world powers while it refuses to sign the NPT. Moreover, the Zionist regime is widely believed to be in possession of 200 to 300 nuclear warheads.

Referring to the Geneva nuclear deal, Israeli Ambassador Merav Zafary-Odiz recently said, “Iran continues to abuse what is termed as a 'step-by-step' approach to the resolution of outstanding issues.” She claimed, “This pace of investigation is unacceptable ... Iran will continue to provide false explanations and to hide the true nature of its activities.”

Such an irresponsible regime expressing concern about Iran’s lack of cooperation with the IAEA boggles the mind.

    This obstructionist behavior of the Israeli regime poses a major obstacle to a final accord between Iran and world powers. The Zionist regime has to be kept in check.

Conclusion

Despite all obstacles, the conditions are more than ever prepared for Iran and the six powers to reach a final accord which would require both sides to fulfill certain obligations.

A final deal will take into account both the differences and fields of cooperation between the two sides.

In the meantime, we have to accept that achieving any agreement would require a step-by-step approach. After a decade of mistrust, reaching an accord would need patience, goodwill, mutual respect and cooperation. Any other issue than Iran’s nuclear program should not be raised and no preconditions should be set so that the talks could pay off.

A final agreement will narrow the gulf of mistrust between Iran and the West.

*A researcher, documentary producer, and expert on nuclear issues, Hassan Beheshtipour received his BA in Trade Economics from Tehran University. His research topics span from US and Russian foreign policy to the Ukrainian Orange Revolution.

More By Hassan Beheshtipour:

*Iran at Crossroads: Active Neutrality or Taking Sides with one of Belligerent Parties in Ukraine: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-at-Crossroads-Active-Neutrality-or-Taking-Sides-with-one-of-Belligerent-Parties-in-Ukraine.htm

*Russia’s Military Intervention in Crimea: Iran’s Position: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Russia-s-Military-Intervention-in-Crimea-Iran-s-Position.htm

*Basic Notes on Ukraine Developments: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Basic-Notes-on-Ukraine-Developments.htm

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.

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