By Milad Jokar
• Those who ideologically opposed the negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue have been proven wrong. Diplomacy works and the results are a clear success for the Non Proliferation Treaty, the region which desperately needs a new approach, the Iranian people who have been under crippling sanctions for over a decade and the rest of the world which is now free to reengage in economic and financial relations with Iran. We need to learn several key lessons from this historic deal.
First, diplomacy is strength not weakness. Very few people believed that choosing the path of de-escalation and dialogue would prevent a military confrontation and successfully lead to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear crisis. The negotiations that took place between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) have been tough but the tremendous political capital invested by both sides mixed with the dangerous escalation have led to more understanding, more communication and ultimately compromise. Therefore, the situation has evolved from lose-lose to win-win.
Before the serious talks began, each side refused pressure from the other and the lack of communication along with threats created a dangerous cycle. As a result, more indiscriminate sanctions led to more Iranian nuclear capabilities, and vice-versa. The unprecedented diplomatic effort, particularly between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, proved that successful diplomacy is about dealing with your enemy, not your friend. Two years of dialogue and engagement have built the trust that is necessary to open a new chapter in which responsible leaders are now able to serve their respective national interests in a more effective way.
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The more Iran was sanctioned, the more Iran was becoming a military state. This dynamic is now over. With the upcoming elections of the Parliament (Majles) and the Assembly of Experts (in charge of supervising, replacing and electing the Supreme Leader), the moderates led by President Rouhani stand a greater chance to gain more seats and potentially obtain a majority. A victory by the Rouhani camp will further change the trajectory of Iran since it will allow his administration to implement more economic and social reforms, which can only improve the human rights situation.
Jan Oberg comments:
Yes, indeed, this was a victory for diplomacy and intelligent negotiating. The article was, one must assume, written right after the deal and there is a fair amount of optimism about its consequences. It’s a great shame that, as we post this at the end of 2017, the situation is completely different – thanks to the policies of the Trump administration.