The deal struck with Iran over its nuclear program is doomed to fail. Iran has never, at any time, displayed any willingness to play ball with the international community. The agreement reached late Sunday, Geneva time, hinges on the ability of monitors to verify that Iran has made the agreed-upon changes to its nuclear program. Considering its history of preventing observers from gaining access to certain sites, Iran is unlikely, this time, to provide observers with the access they will require to confirm that Iran is living up to its part of the agreement.
Other Arab countries in the region have been reluctant, so far, to comment on the deal. Syria and Iraq are the only two nations in the Middle East that are, like Iran, ruled by Shia Muslims; all others have Sunni governments and are wary of Iran’s intentions. The United Arab Emirates expressed optimism over the deal, although it was a somewhat vague hope that this interim agreement would lead to more permanent stability.
Iran, for its part, has already warned that the deal is off, should the United States Congress approve fresh sanctions on Iran. Speaking to NBC News, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said “If there are new sanctions, then there is no deal. It’s very clear. End of the deal. Because of the inability of one party to maintain their side of the bargain,” Zarif said after the deal was signed. The fact that these comments were made so quickly after the signing of the deal could be seen as an indication that the Iranians are already looking for a way to discard the terms of the agreement and blame its failure on the United States.
The US administration is already arming the Iranian-backed opposition in Syria and its approach to Iran appears to be one of almost total appeasement. Recently, it has been confirmed that the US held secret talks with Iran I n attempt to hash out some framework that was then presented to the nations that took part in the Geneva talks. An unnamed US official has said that these secret bilateral meetings were instrumental in reaching Sunday’s agreement.
Israel has grave concerns over the deal and they have received little more than vague assurances from the United States. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the agreement is an “historic mistake” and that it represents a “surrender to the Iranian charm and smiles offensive, and to Iranian fraud, which is aimed at gaining time…”
The impasse with Iran over its nuclear program has lasted a decade. In that time, Iran has made no major concessions to international demands and has continually repeated the “death to America” and “death to Israel” rhetoric. There is no sign of this changing any time soon. Israel continues to reserve the right to a military solution, whilst the Obama regime has all but dismissed the idea of the United States using such an option. The interim agreement has done nothing to significantly reduce the chances of Iran developing the components and weapons-grade uranium needed for the production of nuclear weapons, nor has it greatly eased the sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The Iranians are now able to say that they have agreed to something and it seems likely that they will maintain their historical approach; throwing up obstacles to the scrutiny of their nuclear program whilst demanding the continued loosening of sanctions.
It could be argued that this agreement is, in fact, all carrot and no stick. Since the government of Iran only understands sticks, it is likely that this deal is doomed to fail.
Editorial by Graham J Noble