At last, the world community sighed with relief. The world`s six great powers came to a preliminary agreement on the Iran nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva. Some experts labeled this as the prevention of great war. At the same time, geopolitical aspect of this event requires that many factors be taken into consideration. So far, there are some contradictory points. What will happen in six months?
The end of the long confrontation?
The tension between Iran and the West, which lasted for a couple of years, seems to come to an end. The major sides of the conflict were Tehran and Washington. They took an implacable and hostile stand against each other. But now the situation has dramatically changed. It is interesting that the West, which regulates the processes in the world, managed to achieve this in the light of the previous unsuccessful efforts (Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Libya etc). It looks as if the need to alter global geopolitics emerged on that side of the pond.
On top of all, we must point out that it is unfortunately hard to believe in organization of all the processes based on such pillars as development and security of peoples and countries. The experience shows that it is more about geopolitical ambitions. There appear to be suggestive aspects when we assess the steps to be undertaken to solve the Iran problem from this perspective.
We can say in this context that the world`s facing Iran looked paradoxical. Nevertheless, it was not a secret that there were various countries and processes behind Teheran. For instance, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Libya were behind Iran. Along with them, the activity of Russia and China on this front was not overt. Official Teheran has always enjoyed their serious support. We believe there is the need in geopolitical analysis of the role of these factors in bringing positions of six strong states together. In this aspect, it is interesting where boundaries between reality and geopolitical ambitions intersect.
Either way, November 24, 2013 may become one of the important dates in the world history. On that date, the USA, France, England, China, Germany and Russia came to an agreement on the Iran nuclear program. Although, it is possible to mention the first stage of the problem resolution only. Moreover, the latest report suggests that there are still divisions on some aspects. For this reason, it is not accidental that the Iranian officials claim that there was still “98% of progress” made.
Under the agreement, Iran freezes its nuclear program for six months. Reuters news agency reports that Barack Obama declared if Iran did not meet its commitments during the six-month period covered by the interim deal, Washington would “ratchet up the pressure” (see Parisa Hafezi, Justyna Pawlak. Six powers clinch breakthrough deal curbing Iran’s nuclear activity / “Reuters”, 24 November 2013).
The West promised to soften sanctions against Iran and provide assistance worth USD 4.2 billion. In addition, Tehran will be entitled to deliver its hydrocarbons to the European markets with the gold and automobile industry cooperation resumed too (see: Iran nuclear deal complete after days of talks, ministers confirm / “The Guardian”, 24 November 2013)
Reuters said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his content with the outcomes of talks. Obama announced it would “block Iran`s path to bomb”. The joy expressed by the participants of the discussions was seen during TV channel`s live coverage of briefings. The diplomats congratulated each other with kisses and hugs. However, one point did not go unnoticed.
They only shook hands with Guido Westerwelle, Foreign Minister of Germany, without hugs and kisses. Attentive and inquisitive journalists linked this with the Minister’s special orientation. It appears the participants of the talks shy away from being seen as the members of the “circle”. Putting the journalists` joke aside, we can say that serious work has been done for the global geopolitics.
Who are a winner and loser in this game?
It must be stressed that most countries positively assessed the agreement reached. However, the Israeli Premier referred to this agreement as “a historic mistake” and “a bad deal”. Official Tel-Aviv thinks that Iran retains its right to develop a nuclear program by softening sanctions. Thus, six months later, “the six nations” will allow Tehran continue its efforts in this direction within the framework adopted. Against this backdrop, the German Spiegelonline`s highlighting the thought saying “Obama gave a probation period to Iran” attracts huge attention (see Sebastian Fischer. Durchbruch im Atomstreit: Obama gewährt Iran Probezeit / “spigel.de”, 24 November 2013).
According to some experts, Russia is the party which benefited the most in this process. Die Welt openly stated Putin benefited from the Middle East crisis (see Lord Weidenfeld. Putin profitiert von den Krisen im Nahen Osten / “welt.de”, 19 November 2013). Foreign Minister Lavrov was unable to refrain himself from saying “Putin`s plan is being realized”. As a whole, Moscow is seen to be behaving with restraint.
It is necessary to underline some details. First and foremost, it is possible to say that there are the reasons below for finding a way out of the contradictory situation on Iran.
Firstly, the USA may not intervene in Iran after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and other countries. The contemporary international law does not permit it. Such a step could damage the US`s stance and cause the USA lose its international positions. Secondly, By supporting all the US`s steps, the European Union was sure that the intervention in Iran would be unsuccessful. That is why, it sought pretexts to get opportunities for using Iran as a market for itself and the USA. It means that the EU is interested in buying hydrocarbons from Iran and selling its products there. Thirdly, Iran was also in an economic crisis. If this process and sanctions continue, its situation could have worsened rapidly. In addition, it will lead to deepening of contradictions and military conflict with Israel. Tehran could have found itself in an isolated position. For all these reasons, the sides consider this agreement as the historical victory.
Moreover, Iranian and Russian officials portray acknowledgement of Tehran`s rights to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as one of the important outcomes of the Geneva talks. (see Иран и “шестерка” достигли исторического соглашения / “rbc.ru”, 24 November 2013). The western diplomatic circles focus more on Iran`s freezing the nuclear program for six months. Only after this period, it will be clear to what extent the problem would be solved. One gets the impression that the sides are cautiously taking no heed of the existence of the possible contradictions that may emerge whereas there will be no room for acting when time comes.
On the other hand, it feels as if Iran considers itself a winner as it escaped the inevitable impact of the economic crisis. Against this backdrop, Obama looks as the side who is unable to find a way out except for taking a careful stand towards the issues he attempted but failed to solve both inside the USA and abroad. Lavrov`s sending a message saying the Putin`s conception was accepted in this process suggests a different feeling of Moscow. French Foreign Minister Fabius`s and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif`s hugging and congratulating each other after the talks did not go unnoticed. What does all this suggest?
The politics and geopolitics seem to step into the new stage. However, the most countries will continue to crave for security and sustainable development just as it was in the beginning of each century. This is because the major aim is to try to ensure geopolitical interests rather than form the global security system taking into account the realities.
Along with these factors, official Tel-Aviv’s describing the deals “unbelievable Christmas present for Iran” cannot be forgotten. (see Iran nuclear deal complete after days of talks, ministers confirm / “The Guardian”, 24 November 2013). The stand the Saudi Arabia is set to take is expected with interest. Will all these contradictions bring such trends in the Middle East? What will happen if Iran wants to develop its nuclear program six months later? The answers to such questions are not yet known.
It appears as if it was the first step only. As a matter of fact, if there was a good will instead of some geopolitical ambitions from the very beginning, it could have been much easier to come to an agreement. Unfortunately, it did not happen. There seems to be much need in wisdom and justice.