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Friday, March 23, 2018

Iran nuclear deal drove a wedge between the West and the Middle East

Iran and the six international mediators reached an agreement on the key issues of the nuclear program. By late summer, these agreements will form the basis of the “nuclear deal”. Iranians rejoice the impending lifting of sanctions, the West and Russia warn about the success of diplomacy. However, in the US, and the middle East have players who can deliver on the deal cross.

The evening of 2 March, the negotiators on the nuclear program of Iran said: the main points agreed upon, diplomats are satisfied and ready to leave Lausanne. Obama called the deal historic and even compared with the agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union. In Iran, people took to the streets in a fit of mass jubilation. However, just a few hours in Washington has sounded a Wake-up call: Binyamin Netanyahu expresses extreme concern about the deal. Put pressure on the States and the inside story: Republicans close to Saudi Arabia, not happy news about the impending lifting of sanctions, which would entail a sharp spike in oil prices.

A historic deal

“Assuming the appearance on the market of Iranian nuclear weapons, it will be fraught with a collapse of the nonproliferation regime, a complete change in the balance of forces in the region and even the world”

The world is waiting for the outcome of the negotiation process on the Iranian nuclear program March 31 in the evening, but to reach agreements was only late in the evening on March 2. According to the results of the key participants in the negotiations made a number of optimistic statements.

The biggest optimist has become Barack Obama. “Iran agreed to make its nuclear program transparent, – he said after talks in Lausanne. – He decided to abandon the controversial nuclear facilities. He abandons uranium enrichment at all sites except one. All this gives us grounds to think that Iran is now the most distant from the creation of the atomic bomb, and its program is really peaceful. If we have even the slightest suspicion that Iran is cheating, we will always be able to conduct a comprehensive review,” – said Obama. The agreement with Tehran “would be based not on blind trust, and unprecedented powerful monitoring system”, he added. If the Iranian side will be seen in violation of the agreements, the “sanctions can be returned,” said the American President.

Obama even compared the deal with Iran with another major historical step – the agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war about limiting nuclear weapons. “The agreements were not perfect, they did not eliminate all threats, but they have made our world safer. A good deal with Iran will lead to the same”, – Obama said, RIA “Novosti”.

Obama’s speech in Lausanne showed even in Iran, which says it all, said the British newspaper the Guardian. The speech of the American President was broadcast on Iranian state television, that in itself is an unprecedented step on the part of Iranian journalists, says the publication.

More reserved but overall positive representatives of European diplomacy. “This agreement will undoubtedly step to positive changes in the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. But we still have work to do,” said the Minister of foreign Affairs of France Laurent Fabius. Recall that Paris put more conditions for Tehran in the discussion of the nuclear program.

“We’re through! – happily said the German foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. – We can be satisfied with what you have achieved. And although the jubilation was too early, having agreed on the main points, we have eliminated the obstacles that for decades were on their way to agreements. We have laid the groundwork for negotiations on a final agreement, it is now assigned for three months. These agreements can also become the basis for security in the middle East region,” – said the German diplomat.

Steinmeier also said that Iran has increased the position of those, “who understands that the younger generation need to offer something more than the fantasy of turning the country into a nuclear power.” “This requires economic exchange, access to technology and, of course, getting rid of sanctions,” he said.

“We are closer than ever to reaching an agreement that would have prevented Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons”, – quotes Agency dpa words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She also thanked Steinmeier for the work done.

UN Secretary-General ban Ki-moon also congratulated all the participants “reach a political framework agreement, opening the way to a historic comprehensive joint action plan to be developed by 30 June”. “This agreement will significantly restrict Iran’s nuclear program and lift all sanctions”, – the press service quoted the words of ban Ki-moon.

The representative of the European Parliament Martin Schulz congratulated the Iranian people on their success. “The agreements reached in Lausanne, represent an important contribution to ensuring international security, increase mutual trust and bring relief to the Iranian economy for the benefit of its people,” – said in a statement. Collaboration and dialogue won out over confrontation and isolation, he said.

Satisfied with the results of the negotiations and Russia. “We are satisfied with the outcome of this marathon. He ended with the finding of the key parameters of the future agreement,” – said Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. The Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov was not present during the last day of the consultation. He left Lausanne early, saying that agreement on key issues has been achieved. Following the talks, the head of Russian diplomacy said that the results achieved by the negotiators “promising.”

The head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini assured that the European Union and the United States ready to remove the sanctions on Iran. However, she recalled that the agreement must support the UN security Council, which has imposed against Tehran are a number of restrictions a few years ago.

Recall that Iran and the six international mediators have agreed in Lausanne about how to move the “extra” Iranian centrifuges and equipment for uranium enrichment in storage under IAEA control. Two-thirds of Iran’s capacity for uranium enrichment will be suspended for ten years. Moreover, Iran agrees to supply all its programs for uranium enrichment under international control for a period of 25 years.

A historical mistake?

Regional competitors of Iran greeted the news of the conclusion of the Treaty with great concern. This applies particularly to Saudi Arabia, other Arab Gulf monarchies and Israel. Alert the leadership of these countries has reached such a level that President Barack Obama had to call Netanyahu and in fact make excuses for what happened in Switzerland. Israeli The Jerusalem Post noted that the call took place “a few hours” after the announcement of the transaction in Lausanne. As noted in the White house, Obama in conversation with the Israeli Prime Minister said a deal on Iran’s nuclear program is a significant progress towards a lasting agreement that will cut off Iran’s path to nuclear bomb. Obama also assured Netanyahu that the decision “will allow auditable means to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear program” Tehran.

However, the Israeli Prime Minister has not been configured in such a positive way. Netanyahu called the agreement with Iran a “historic mistake” and said that it will “threaten the existence of Israel.” “This agreement legitimitize Iran’s nuclear program strengthens Iran’s economy and enhances the aggression and terror of this country in the middle East and beyond,” added Netanyahu. Moreover, the leader of Israel said that will convene on Friday, April 3, the country’s security Council to discuss the agreement of the “six” with Iran.

Senior officials have already announced the possibility to consider the military means of pressure on Iran. Minister of intelligence and strategy of Israel Yuval Steinitz did not rule out the possibility of air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. He even cited the example of the bombing of a nuclear reactor “Osirak” in Iraq in 1981. He noted that the operation was conducted without the consent of the United States, reports DW.

Pan-Arab Al Jazeera notes that Netanyahu’s position was supported by the Israeli lobby in the United States, namely the American-Israeli public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In March, AIPAC has managed to gather hundreds of thousands of people and to organize a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, during his visit to the United States. By the way, the Prime Minister of Israel came to America at the invitation of the speaker of the house of representatives, Senator from the Republican party John Boehner, who, in turn, told Obama.

Republicans also expressed dissatisfaction with the concessions, which went to democratic President Obama. A common position outlined by the aforementioned John Boehner. “It would be naive to assume that the Iranian regime will continue to use its nuclear programme, or any economic relief in order to destabilize the region in the future”, – quotes its RIA “Novosti”.

Republicans previously in a negative way spoke about the idea of lifting the sanctions against Iran. Their extreme concern was associated not only with the traditional struggle with the initiatives of Democrats and support of Israel, but with the tight support of the interests of Saudi Arabia, where many members of Congress have their own interests, including oil.

Note that concerns about possible pressure on the parties to the transaction on the part of Israel and Saudi Arabia expressed the Russian side. This was stated by the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov. According to him, in this situation, “lost to those countries in the middle East who are committed to an uncompromising struggle against Iran and its influence.” Therefore, “it cannot be excluded that the influential political players – among them Israel, Saudi Arabia and other States can try to make efforts to ensure that this agreement is to disrupt and to bring the situation to a high degree of tension, which operated around the Iranian nuclear programme over recent years,” reports the TASS.

Iran enters the market

That the removal from Iran of the sanctions would trigger a reaction in the oil market, warned leading experts. Indeed, the effect was obvious in the first 15 minutes after the announcement of the reached agreements: the price of Brent crude oil fell 4.6 percent to 54.23 dollars per barrel.

If nothing will break the agreement Iran and “six”, the oil embargo on the Islamic Republic will be lifted in 2015. The return of Tehran to the oil market faces a serious decline in prices, which will affect primarily on the major market players – Saudi Arabia and Russia. Prior to the sanctions, the country exported about 2.5 million barrels of black gold in the United States and Europe. Iran currently produces about 2.85 million barrels of oil, while being the fourth largest world producer of this fuel, according to Bloomberg. For export goes about 1 million barrels a day, the main buyers are Asian countries, including China. Thus, Iran has enough oil reserves for sale. While Tehran has expressed readiness to increase production after the lifting of sanctions.

Some experts expressed concern that the infusion of Iranian oil to significantly drop the position of Russian oil. However, the Director of Fund “national energy security”, political analyst Konstantin Simonov sure that the idea that the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran could strike at oil prices and Russia’s position in the market, no more than “mythical story”. “After the introduction of sanctions against Iran, the level of oil production in the country decreased slightly. The sanctions are removed Iran from the European market, but Tehran has managed to compensate it by means of active economic policy in Asia, primarily in China. In General, this has not affected the economy of Iran,” he told the newspaper VIEW.

Iran also intends to enter the market with a new offer. “We will do something really innovative: we go to the world market trade (nuclear) fuel. We will sell enriched uranium in exchange for natural. And this is an important development process. We are interested in it,” said foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, RIA “Novosti”. As previously wrote the newspaper VIEW, in Iran there is indeed a substantial excess of fuel – about 8 thousand tons.

According to Simonov, is quite naive to believe that Iran is able to sell nuclear fuel. “The statement by the Iranians that they are going to trade nuclear fuel, is absolutely unrealistic. The question is, who will do it? Ideas they have a lot, but there are issues implementing them. Iran is now in a state of some euphoria, so you may say anything you like. These statements made in the style of “we are tough, we bent West”. From an economic point of view, it is malorealizuemo,” – said Simonov.

In Europe, however, already spoke with optimism about the message about lifting sanctions against Iran. So, the desire to strengthen trade with Iran was expressed by Germany. “The agreement is assessed the German economy as an encouraging signal,” – said the Agency Reuters, the expert on foreign economic activity of the Federal Association of chambers of Commerce of Germany Felix Neugart. If economic sanctions will be lifted by 1 July, the business with Iran is already in the second half of the year considerably to gain momentum, he said. And in the next five years will be even talking about doubling exports. “In the long run, the trade balance with Iran may amount to tens of billions of euros”, – said Neuhart.

Deal of discord

States which are directly concerned with the presence of Iran’s nuclear weapons will take some steps in order to achieve closure of the nuclear programme. “But it will not change anything, – said the President of the Middle East Institute Yevgeny Satanovsky. – Assuming the appearance on the market of Iranian nuclear weapons, it will be fraught with a collapse of the nonproliferation regime, a complete change in the balance of forces in the region and even the world. But it will be then. To prevent this possible only militarily, diplomatically nothing can be done” – he said the newspaper VIEW.

Military means to act, Obama can not and will not, says Satanovsky. “All he has to do in order to justify his status as Nobel peace prize laureate, is to sign with Iran toward an agreement that will look like a good deal. Then spend some advertising campaign that will convince everyone that it’s good. This reminds me of satisfaction of European diplomacy from the resolution of the crisis with Germany in 1938. French and British diplomats then was very pleased, he said, that brought Europe peace. Through the year the war began, but who of the diplomats remember it?”

The future of the agreement of the “six” and Iran is not optimistic. “The long-term prospects of this agreement, if it will be what we assume is a big war of the same magnitude as the Second world war. Some States, like Saudi Arabia, it will not survive,” he said.

That the IAEA can monitor Iran’s nuclear program, the expert believes. “This organization missed out on that I could, and not only in Iran. Is it the IAEA has identified nuclear facilities there? Did intelligence. The IAEA is able to control only Bushehr (Bushehr nuclear station – approx. OPINION). They are not capable of full control. They can a law-abiding States to work in official mode but it’s not the Iranian case,” he said.

This well-known iranologist, senior researcher, Institute of Oriental studies, Professor Vladimir Sazhin told the newspaper VIEW that until Iran has nuclear weapons is still very far away. Technical characteristics of the equipment at this stage do not permit. “Iran’s centrifuges are not sufficiently advanced. It’s basically a centrifuge first, there are some second generation. For comparison, in Russia there are centrifuges of the ninth generation,” he said.

“In 2011, analysts estimate that Iran would need for all good conditions a little less than two years in order to produce the amount of uranium required at least one explosive device. And it needs about 20-25 kilograms of enriched uranium. But this is a purely theoretical calculation,” – said Sazhin.

“Iran is no possibilities to quickly produce 90 percent enriched uranium. After all, what is it? It is a gas. And in order to turn gas into metal (namely, metallic uranium explodes in the bomb), you need to go through three or four stages. And requirements for substances of very high. The technology is known, but to do it well and without errors very difficult. So in reality 6500 centrifuges at the current stage of development of Iran’s technologies will quickly make a nuclear bomb. Two or three years is not enough”, – he added.


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