Dilemmas of negotiations between U.S and Iran

21-02-2021 12:33 PM

By Dr Kamal Alzghoul

When we talk about the US-Iranian negotiations to sign a new nuclear deal, we notice that Iran intends to gain more demands than what it got in the previous agreement signed in 2015, and these extra demands are embodied in the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the United States of America on Iran’s ballistic missiles, and by that, Iran doesn’t think over negotiations regarding the ballistic missile project. For US interests, it is necessary to focus on forcing Iran to accept a separate deal on these missiles as a precaution against Iran's attempt to conceal its missile arsenal under the pretext of returning to the previous deal of 2015.

Iran is thinking over the advantages and disadvantages of any future deal, and accordingly, several dilemmas may arise in the way of the US-Iranian negotiations. The first one is that Iran may return to negotiate another 15 years as a specific period to reduce the stockpile of low-enriched uranium to 300 kg, and It might think to neglect the 4 years of Trump presidency while ignoring the amount of uranium enrichment gained during the period of non-compliance which reached 12 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted in 2015 deal. In short, Iran tries to set another condition on the table, so it wants to be informed ahead of any kind of inspections by the IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency. The non-compliance period (Donald Trump Administration) increased Iran's accumulative ability to enrich more than 5% stipulated in the previous agreement and contributed to buying time to lift sanctions imposed on Iranian companies and entities, and this may let Iran demand to cancel the Caesar Act that imposed on Syria, but the cancellation of the latter has strong opposition in the US Congress because it is connected to the values of democracy. US's institutions of democracy are concerned about violations of human rights in Syria which are linked to Iranian militias and their groups.

The second dilemma is the cancellation of the 10-year sanctions imposed on Iran’s ballistic missiles in January 2016 and those sanctions have nothing to do with the nuclear deal, taking into account the security and the stability in the largest middle eastern security complex.

The third dilemma is in Iraq, where Iranian militias should be controlled because they try to hinder the election process to gain political positions. However, U.S new strategy in Iraq might be focusing on China's cooperation with Iran to block china from signing contracts for oil and gas extraction in southern Iraq especially in the provinces of Al- Basra, and Maysan. The fourth dilemma is Russia, We know that Iran has strong relations with Russia, and this gives us an indication that, if the sanctions on Iran are lifted, sanctions on Russia will be automatically lifted. This process is called “transitive action,” which will let Russia take advantage of lifting sanctions imposed on Iran due to their good mutual relationships and business cooperation.

In conclusion, returning to the previous nuclear deal between the US and Iran requires discussing the previous deal itself with focusing on Iran’s accumulative stockpile of Uranium enrichment as a result of the canceled deal during President Donald Trump's administration. In addition to that, the US may extend the sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missiles, and going forward in Caesar Act. Generally speaking, the US may adopt a new strategy in Iraq to neutralize China and hinder its exploitation of trade projects in the region, also to prevent Russia from supporting Iranian reactors with nuclear technology. Violating the economic sanctions on Iran may affect the interests of the US's allies in the region, and as above mentioned, negotiations are expected on the Iranian nuclear deal, but it may be through a set of complex issues. And from time to time, U.S sanctions on Iran depend on Iran's commitments to the new deal. Eventually, it should be noted that lifting imposed sanctions against all opponents of the United States in the Middle East, such as China, Russia, and Iran (due to the lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran) is considered a diplomatic suicide in the region.

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