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Iran: Efforts to achieve a nuclear accord

By Saima Afzal

Negotiations and conciliations process have been used as a tool among the states for the peaceful resolution of any conflict among them since centuries. In view of fact that Iran is clandestinely developing its nuclear weapons Program, the major powers used the diplomatic tool to convince Iran to stop its nuclear program. In this regard, US has offered many incentives to Iran and accepted that it is inherent right of Iran to develop its nuclear program for peaceful purpose. Infact the objective of all diplomatic efforts was to stop Iran from making atom bomb and to prevent the need to impose economic and military sanctions on Iran. The Iranian Nuclear Program has been center of gravity since its inception among the international community. The rapid change in international relations has transferred this nuclear conflict from non-negotiable to matter of diplomatic resolution. Iran started its nuclear program as “Atom for Peace” with the full support of the West but it became a source of conflict with the Iranian revolution.

The recent negotiation over Iranian Nuclear program held in Lausanne, between Iran and the permanent members of Security Council plus Germany from 26 March to 2nd April 2015. After the intensive talks the eight nations have reached an accord which is yet to be finalized by the end of 30th June. Under the accord, Iran agreed to cut the number of operating centrifuges it has by two-thirds, to 5,060, all of them first-generation, and to cut its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium from around 10,000 kilograms to 300 for 15 years. Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium at its Fordow for at least 15 years. Iran also agreed that it would enrich uranium only at Natanz facility and IAEA will have regular access to all Iran’s nuclear facilities. In the response Iran will get sanction relief, if it abides by its commitments. Just after the preliminary deal of P5+1 with Tehran the countries around the world are in line to have a business ties with the Iran. China is interested to buy more Iranian oil and to help to build a natural gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. Turkish president and few European states also want investment and expanded business ties. Although, the deal yet has to be finalized till June but it will definitely boost up the global economy and will bring regional stability.

There can be few negative and positive implications of Iran being a nuclear state. First, it can be emerged as regional hegemony and also can easily promote the Shia ideology in the other part of the Middle Eastern states which can lead towards the Sunni-Shia rift in their ideologically populated areas. Second, it undermines the spirit of NPT and the states who have abandon their nuclear program they can reassume it. Third, the non-state actors can get access to nuclear weapons which would increase violence in the region. Fourth, if we look into the previous statements of Iranian leaders there can be rift between Israel and Iran in near future. The positive aspect of nuclear Iran can be like this Iran can defend its regional States against any aggression. There can be stability not only in the region but also in the war torn country Afghanistan.

The Gulf States have reservations on Iran and P5+1 nuclear deal because this region has geostrategic importance due to abundant natural resources and Gulf States don’t want monopoly of a single state in the region. Iran will get a regional hegemony after acquiring nuclear technology and there are chances of sectarian conflict in the region and due to the Yemen crisis both great states of the region Saudi Arabia and Iran will try to ideologically defeat each other.  Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, Pakistan has always stressed that Iran’s right must be respected and it should also fulfill the international legal obligations that would reassure other states. Pakistan has been against any coercion or use of force which would destabilize the entire region, including the Gulf. In the current Yemen crisis Pakistan should play a neutral role and should not take any decision against the national integrity and national interest because both states Iran and Saudi Arabia are respectable to Pakistan and for the sake of one state we can’t compromise our relations with the other.

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Saima Afzal

Saima Afzal works as a Research Associate at the Strategic Vision Institute in Islamabad and can be reached at saimaafzalsvi@gmail.com

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