By P.V. Durga:
John Kerry, Secretary of State, U.S.A., recently mentioned that Iran faces “hard choices” in achieving a nuclear deal with the West. The permanent members of the UN Security Council- U.K., France, China, Russia and America, along with Germany (P5+1) have been a part of some intense negotiations over the past few days. So what is all the noise about?
In essence, the P5+1 wants to ensure that Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, i.e.”breakout capability“, is prolonged to a year. If Iran concedes, its deteriorating economy would be free from the oil and gas export restrictions that have been imposed by USA. America also wants to limit the Uranium enrichment (which is needed for nuclear reactors and bombs), and wants Iran to reveal all their past military activities.
This nuclear deal is a reflection of the long history of a strained relationship between USA and Iran. America had been consistently involved in Iran’s economic and political spheres. It all began in 1953, after Mossadeq, the democratically elected Iranian leader was overthrown in a coup which was coordinated by British and American Intelligence agencies. He sought to nationalize Iran’s oil industry. Things went downhill when Americans were held hostage in Tehran in their Embassy. America shot down an Iranian passenger plane, killing all passengers who were on their way to Mecca, saying that it was “mistaken” for a fighter jet. President George. W. Bush in 2002 called Iran an “Axis of Evil”. Additionally, Iranian opposition groups reported that Iran, a signatory to the non- proliferation treaty was developing nuclear facilities with enriched Uranium.
Clearly, they want to prevent a threat, but America is being criticized. Republicans are alleging that the USA might have “caved in” to too many concessions, which may defeat the whole purpose of the deal. Some feel that Obama, in his bid to ease the strained relationship with a “fanatical Islamist regime” that seeks to remove American influence in the Middle East, has acted counter-productively by easing sanctions, instead of tightening them to pressurize the “Mullahs”. America seems to have come to terms with the fact that Iran will continue to nurture its nuclear infrastructure, albeit in a restricted manner. This may delay nuclear threats, not prevent them. Also, Saudi Arabia, Iran’s rival is unhappy with America’s stance, and may start its own nuclear program with the help of Pakistan. On the other hand, anti-nuke activists are praising this deal, saying that it would provide a model for handling nuclear armed states, or others that are building such weapons.
The P5+1, vigorously negotiating this deal is a good sign since the deal will advocate peace however these actions hint at hypocrisy. Not all other budding nuclear powers have faced such a grueling inspection; it is a known fact that Israel possesses nuclear weapons. Also, USA signed a nuclear energy deal with India in 2005.
So, is diplomacy all about vying for control over oil producing nations, or about ensuring peace and security worldwide? This inconsistent, geopolitical approach of “superpowers” may severely backfire if they continue to hold on to their double standards.