Possibility of Last-Minute Agreement

21 November 2014 | 13:31 Code : 1941051 From the Other Media General category
Fararu.com’s interview with Dr. Ali Bigdeli, an expert on international affairs
Possibility of Last-Minute Agreement

-I believe that Iran and the P5+1 could reach an “incomplete” agreement so that other issues of difference would be resolved later.

-There are numerous reasons behind the growing differences between Iran and the P5+1 during the past few days.

-The most important reason is that, during the past few days, both sides have been attempting to force the other side to give more concessions by expressing maximal positions. Of course, both parties may balance their positions in the last minute if they feel that the opportunity of reaching an agreement is threatened.

-But the other reason that could be stated for the reduction of hopes regarding an agreement before the deadline is the growing attempts of international pressure groups particularly the Israeli lobby in the US.

-Washington is greatly interested in reaching an agreement with Iran and Mr. Obama himself has, hitherto, made great efforts in this regard but the Israeli lobby is very active in trying to prevent this agreement.

-If these pressures did not exist, perhaps these negotiations would have succeeded in Muscat following the trilateral meeting between Iran’s Foreign Minister, the US Secretary of State and Mrs. Ashton.

-Nonetheless, Netanyahu’s visit to the US and his lectures in this country and his expanded consultations with other influential countries in negotiations caused the issue of Iran’s nuclear capacity, about which previous concerns had been greatly removed, and also the issue of sanctions would become the basis of differences between the two sides in Muscat.

-Furthermore, Mr. Salehi’s visit to Russia simultaneously with the negotiations in Muscat and the signing of an agreement with this country regarding the construction of nuclear reactors created new sensitivities with regard to Iran’s nuclear program in the minds of the US and the European countries. This agreement was more to the benefit of Russia than Iran because the Russians showed the West that Russia is not as isolated as the western countries want it to be.

-Therefore, I believe that the collection of these elements have created an atmosphere where public opinion is not hopeful about the prospects of negotiations and the possibility of reaching a comprehensive agreement.

-But I believe that hope must not completely be lost for there is this possibility that both sides will reach a comprehensive agreement at the last minute by balancing their positions.

-It is possible that both parties would not be able to achieve all their demands but this is not a good reason for not signing an agreement.

-One of the obstacles in reaching a comprehensive agreement is Iran’s emphasis on the lifting of all imposed sanctions. This is while Mrs. Sherman had previously stated that the sanctions against Iran are divided into three groups; nuclear-related, human rights-related, and Iran’s regional policies including its support of groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

-The US states that if a comprehensive agreement is reached, then the nuclear-related sanctions might be suspended or lifted. Of course they want sanctions to be suspended especially those which were adopted by the US Congress because they say that they have made great efforts to build the structure of sanctions against Iran and so long as they are not assured about Iran’s commitment to the agreement they cannot completely lift the sanctions.

-It is said that progress has been made in these negotiations and the US has somehow agreed to lift other sanctions except Congress’ sanctions. If this is true, I believe that Iran must not insist on its position so that the opportunity of reaching an agreement would not be lost.

-Following the signing of the comprehensive agreement, Iran and the US can negotiate about the fate of the remaining sanctions, particularly those adopted by the Congress, in bilateral negotiations and find a solution.

-From the beginning of January, the Republicans will have the majority of the Congress and since they have their own position with regard to Iran and do not support the nuclear agreement, the possibility of reaching an agreement will be totally lost.

-The negotiating team is certainly aware of this fact and they do not intend to lose the opportunity of reaching an agreement before the new Congress with a Republican majority. Thus, I believe that Iran and the P5+1 could reach an “incomplete” agreement so that they will deal with other differences after the agreement.

tags: irannuclearviennamuscat

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