Will relations between Iran and the USA change?

Will relations between Iran and the USA change?

By Vestnik Kavkaza

On June 29th the fifth round of talks between the 5+1 (the USA, Russia, the UK, Germany, France, and China) and Iran finished in Vienna. The sides achieved certain progress in development of a text of the agreement, which should be completed by July 20th. Vladimir Yevseyev, the head of the Caucasus Department in the CIS Countries Institute, and Heydar Jemal, the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, spoke about the possible consequences of the negotiations for proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world.

Vladimir Yevseyev, the head of the Caucasus Department in the CIS Countries Institute, thinks that the agreement won’t solve the global problems which became the reasons for the Iranian nuclear crisis, despite the readiness of the sides to normalize relations: “We should understand that the problem will be simply moved aside and a new American president will have to deal with its settlement. I believe at the moment we can see an imitation of talks. This is explained by the absence of a time limit for President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani. It will certainly be positive. But what was the trigger in 2013? The basis of the problem has not been solved, but simply postponed – let the successors solve the problem, as we cannot solve it now. Yes, there is such an approach. However, it is positive, as there is a normalization of relations.”

Speaking about the possible importance of the agreement for other countries, Yevseyev noted that it creates an important precedent: “Alright, they won’t agree on Iran; Iran is permitted to enrich uranium, it takes responsibility. But what prevents Saudi Arabia, for example, from enriching uranium? In a hundred years it will also be able to build several reactors and use them for production of nuclear fuel. Nothing prevents Turkey from enriching uranium either. I'm not trying to judge the position of the countries, I'm trying to show the situation which we will face after signing the agreement. There are such states as South Korea which have violated the IAEA requirements. But it is not forbidden to enrich uranium. It can say: “Iran is permitted, and why is South Korea worse than Iran? Why can’t South Korea provide a full nuclear fuel cycle?” Saudi Arabia and Turkey have every reason for saying that as well. What is the problem? The problem is that a full nuclear fuel cycle leads a state to a line, and after it is crossed the state can produce a nuclear weapon. In this context the possibility of creating a nuclear weapon is high, considering the existing contradictions. So I wouldn’t say the agreement can improve the regime of non-proliferation. I think instead it will accelerate the processes which are being restrained today. Iran is under pressure. It will be legally reduced, as Iran fulfils all the requirements of the IAEA. But other countries can say: “Why can’t we do this?” I can list many countries which can choose the path of Iran, speaking about the option of creating reactors or not, but can start from a program of uranium enrichment.”

Finally, the expert said that he thinks the agreement is a positive step in relations between Iran and the West, but he doesn’t pin big hopes on it: “I am a pessimist in this matter. I think if we look at the agreement as an agreement on a breakthrough or an agreement which enables us to change the situation with non-proliferation in the world, it will be wrong. It is more an imitation of negotiations, which is favorable for both sides. The imitation will lead to another worsening of relations. Iran will be suspected of establishing a facility, while Iran probably would never establish one, but the protocol is not working and it cannot be checked. If it is a military base near Tehran, for example, Iran is not obliged to let anyone in there. So we cannot speak about an improvement of trust between the sides. At the same time, I support the signing and think it is a step forward. However, we cannot admit that it will change the situation crucially or solve the Iranian problem.”

Heydar Jemal, the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, says: “There are many ways to create nuclear weapons without using one’s own potential or resources. There are countries where one can do this, if necessary. Moreover, it is well-known that there is shadow trade of nuclear explosives in the world, for example, Israel got 350 nuclear explosives from the United States, some of them were received by at least 20 other countries. There are nuclear explosives which got to Saudi Arabia through Israel. So we live in two worlds. On the one hand, there is legal visibility; on the other hand, an ordinary person can’t even imagine what is going on in reality. The matter of relations between Iran and the West is ambiguous as well, as these relations have never been broken behind the scenes, including with Israel. The sides keep them in secret, but they have never been broken. But from time to time we can see breakthroughs. Two years ago it was clear that the USA is shifting its positive focus from Saudi Arabia to Iran, as one of targets of America in the situation of the failed Arab Spring in the Middle East was the support of Iran as a regional superpower. But the United States always does something negative, they intend a destructive development of the situation, they are interested in destabilization of the Middle East and turning it into a deeper confrontation. The super-task is a war between Tehran and Riyadh. At the moment we can see an attack on Baghdad by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, and some activists of the organization threat Shiah shrines. The only goal of such publicity is provocation of Tehran on launching troops to protect the shrines. And it is being done. The USA cannot influence the militants of ISIS. They quickly softened their position on Iran, as Iran could solve the problem, while Iran is solving it by launching troops to the Arab country. If Baghdad falls, it will be a huge blow to Assad, as Iran will be cut off as a channel of support and supply. Syria will be isolated and the position of Assad will become too vulnerable. In this case the so-called Shia arc will be destroyed, a conflict between Riyadh (which is a center of coordination of the Arab space) and Tehran (which is becoming an alternative regional superpower) will occur. So I believe the West is displaying hypocrisy when it says that it wants to shut down Iranian military programs. It is interested in a high level of military equipment of Iran in case of conflict with the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, for a war to be big, serious, difficult and disastrous for the region.”