Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Iran’s Redemption after 9 years

July 15, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi
Iran’s nuclear deal with P5+1 group is repugnant to both Saudi Arabia and Israel. But mercifully it has finally come through. Saudi Arabia is opposed to this deal because Iran is her religious and regional contender in the Middle East. Contrary to Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Islam, Iran professes Shia faith and both are phenomenally divergent.

Iran is also an economic rival of Saudi dynasty for its nearly matching oil output. Israel is bitterly averse to this deal because rightly or wrongly it considers Iran as a potent threat to her security. Israel and Saudis have common perception and policy towards Iran though for different reasons. 

If Saudis have to choose friendship between Iran and Israel they will go for Israel. Such is the level of contention and hostility between two Islamic states which in fact is a spillover of the past fourteen centuries.

Since 2006, Iran due to its nuclear program has remained under severe embargoes and harsh sanctions that have nearly crippled its economy in all these 9 years. Presumably during this time Iran has attained the level of expertise needed for making a nuclear bomb which she may not fabricate for obvious reasons.

But that blueprint would remain preserved under a thick layer of secrecy as long as Iran doesn’t feel any major threat to its security. My hunch is that Iran could fabricate bomb within the shortest period of time which it cannot use as after Hiroshima and Nagasaki no country has ever used the atomic weapons even in the worst of conditions.

So the world is safe even if Iran possesses the know how to make a crude bomb  because there are many other countries that in fact have that capability many times more than Iran. For Iran, such device would remain simply a symbol of self-assuring prestige and protection like other countries with nuclear potential such as India and Pakistan.

The JCPOA (The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was inked in the city of Vienna (Austria) on 14 July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security CouncilUnited States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom—plus Germany and the European Union). The agreement lifts a package of stifling sanctions on Iran in return for drastically curtailing her ongoing nuclear development program.

Briefly, the agreement stipulates that Iran will reduce its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent, reduce by two third of its centrifuges and  curtail enriching uranium to 3.67%, enough  for civilian nuclear power and research and not for making a nuclear weapon.

Iran's Fordow facility will be made dysfunctional with stoppage of any new uranium-enrichment facilities at that location for fifteen years.  However Iran can continue research and development work on enrichment only at the Natanz facility for eight years.The fulfillment of these conditions would be closely watched by IAEC and in case of violation the sanctions would be re-imposed for which the term used is “snap back”.

Understandably the Republicans in United States and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu are extremely frustrated over this landmark agreement finalized after 20 months of intensive negotiations between the parties. President Obama has achieved another laurel for himself as but for his consistent support this landmark accord would not have seen the light of the day. 

This agreement would benefit Iran in a huge way. Yet she will have to wait for the rest of the current year for a full blown implementation and lifting of sanctions. The most outstanding fallout would be that Iran’s isolation spanning over a decade would be over.

In the meantime Iran can warm herself for resumption of  its economic and diplomatic relations with many countries which were vary of  not going near it because of  Iran being projected as some kind of Pariah state thanks to the thundering propaganda of Israel, the anti Iran Lobbyists in United States as well as Saudis and their cohorts.

As pointed out above, as a matter of fact Iran doesn’t need a nuclear bomb and even it could make one it would be impossible for her to use. And now when it has been given a limited mandate to pursue its research and enrichment of uranium, it would be pacified as this mandate carries the IAEC and world powers ascent.

Because of shrunken oil sale and limited business opportunities all these years, Iran has suffered a colossal backlash in economic terms. Now after the melting of ice, she would give precedent to full bloom promotion of trade and mutual interactions to catch up with the financial losses it had suffered on account of embargoes on free trade.

Iran has 10 percent of global oil reserves and 18 percent of natural gas reserves.  The oil and gas once again coming to the international markets openly, the prices of both these commodities will reasonably scale down. With an unchained Iran, the super duper enterprises of oil and gas are already on the lookout of resuming the commercial links with that country. 

For instance senior executives from oil giants “Royal Dutch Shell, Total S.A, and Eni met with the Iranian oil minister in Vienna in June, the month before the announcement of JCPOA to explore business opportunities in Iran”.

Iran can be extremely useful for warring parties fighting against the ISIS in Middle East and Taliban in Afghanistan and may be able to turn the tide in favor of Syria and Iraq. Iran has a trained army of over million fighters and that asset can be used by Unites states and other anti-ISIS and al-Qaida militants to bring peace by defeating the radical militants.

It is to be seen if Iran would be willing to join the fray and utilize its military potential at the behest of Syria, United States and other anti ISIS warring groups.

Nevertheless, with Iran joining the rest of the international community without fetters in an historic and watershed development as it brings back a very important country into the fold of the world community with dignity and honor.

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