Iran Deal – Is it a Fair One?

On the Iran deal – between six world powers and Iran – the online news magazine ‘Vox’ uses two tweets to summarise opposing views.

First, a pro-deal tweet: “Sorry to everyone who was looking forward to another big war”. The tweet was by Murtaza Hussain, a journalist at The Intercept.

Second, an anti-deal tweet: “The # IranDeal finalises US shift from preventing an Iranian nuclear weapons to managing the
process by which Iran goes nuclear.” It was by Stephen Hayes, a journalist for The Weekly Standard and Fox News.

The first tweet optimistically says that this deal is helping avert war. But the second sarcastically says that this deal will delay, but will not prevent, Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Before we look at the pros and cons of the deal, we must acknowledge the fact that Iran has been suffering economically for over 30 years.

Severe sanctions had made Washington and all its allies boycott Iranian oil, and also block Iranian banks’ access to funds from international capital markets, thereby, not just decelerating but crippling Iran’s economy.

Iran’s nuclear programme labelled by Israel and Saudi Arabia as “evil and sinister” was, actually, the only card Iran had, in order to negotiate, at Lausanne, with the US-led P5+1 group, for the lifting of sanctions.

P5+1 group, a body comprising five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – US, France, Russia, China, UK – and also one non-permanent member Germany, seems to be satisfied with the deal. But die-hard Republicans in US and anti-Iran brigades around the world are going ballistic with their criticism.

I believe that enough lessons have been learnt from the two world wars. And that ‘war’ should have no place in the 21st century.

If Iran commits itself to reducing uranium enrichment, allowing external inspections, and revealing its nuclear capabilities, the world will anyway get to know of Iran’s nuclear-weapon intentions. And any war will not break out suddenly.

And any breach of deal by Iran will attract severe criticism from the civilized world and will be completely detrimental to its economy.

On Saturday, however, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, in a televised speech, that US policy in the Middle East was not in line with Tehran’s strategy. And that Iran would continue to support its allies in the Middle East including the Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian resistance groups and the Syrian government.

This support of Iran to rebel groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and, more recently, in Yemen, could work against Iran. Its anti-Israel rhetoric too could make its western critics harsher in their responses.

As this deal could revitalize Iran’s economy now, it must also review and revise its foreign policy.

There are fears that the deal does not completely prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon maker. There are arguments that human rights violations in Iran have risen, and therefore the sanctions should not be lifted.

But, as the GCC countries were assured by US, of a fair Iran deal, GCC too can welcome it.

The US- GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Camp David Joint Statement of May 15 says this: “A comprehensive, verifiable deal that fully addresses the regional and international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program is in the security interests of GCC member states as well as the United States and the international community”.

And, I believe, it does address many valid concerns, even if it is not completely perfect.