So far everything seems to be going well. The White House says that in exchange for a commitment to suspend work at nuclear facilities for half a year, Western countries will return frozen assets worth 3 billion dollars to Iran and may even suspend international sanctions (it is proposed to lift the ban on the import of spare parts for cars and airplanes, chemicals for the oil and gas industry, to remove restrictions on the purchase and sale of gold and precious metals, to partially allow the export of oil.All these measures, according to experts, will bring additional 10 billion Ars in the Iranian treasury). Then, a full-scale international agreement will be worked out, which guarantees Tehran the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, but at the same time obliges it to abandon uranium enrichment up to 20%, not to create new nuclear fuel reserves and allow international inspectors to visit Iran’s nuclear facilities without hindrance.
Opponents of the deal
However, it’s not a fact that at the last moment the deal will not fall through. Recall that last week the Western countries had already planned to sign an agreement with Tehran. All the G6 foreign ministers came to Geneva on this occasion. And although, according to experts, the probability of a deal was five to one, the negotiations ended in a crushing failure. France demanded that Iran completely dismantle the heavy-water reactor in Arak, which has nothing to do with the military program and was built under the control of the IAEA. This unexpected demarche confused all the cards to supporters of a nuclear deal. “Stupid and careless” - this is how Iran’s rahbar Ali Haminei described Paris’s position in his microblog on Twitter.
After the Obama administration began flirting with Tehran, France, according to The Nation magazine, "became the spokesman for those forces that are against reformatting American politics in the Middle East." The existing system is debugged, has a high ability to adapt, and a strong Iran, which has broken out of isolation, does not fit into it in any way. The influential French philosopher Bernard Henri Levy, who once became the main instigator of the destruction of Libya, calls not to make concessions to “barbarians who have mocked at one of the largest world civilizations for thirty years, allowing them to create a nuclear bomb and get immunity".
It is known that Levi is one of the representatives of the Israeli lobby in France, and many political analysts are convinced that the tough stance of Paris is largely due to the titanic efforts of B. Netanyahu, who by hook or by crook seeks to thwart the deal between Iran and the United States. “France has not been so close to Israel for a long time,” writes Le Monde. “The current friendship with Jerusalem involuntarily revives the period when French scientists helped create the Israeli atomic bomb, while parachutists trained Israeli paratroopers.”
Netanyahu is generally a key figure in the camp of opponents of the US-Iran rapprochement. According to rumors, this week he just cut off the phone of Barack Obama, but the US president ignores his calls and does not respond to messages. When diplomats begin negotiations in Geneva, Netanyahu plans to fly to Moscow to meet with Putin. The conversation, of course, will be about Iran. The Israeli prime minister will try to prove that the nuclear deal is not in the interests of Moscow. However, it is not necessary to expect that under the influence of his arguments the Russian president will change his position. Rather, it is a gesture of despair. The media close to the Israeli government sow panic, talking about “the end of time” and calling Obama and Kerry “enemies of Israel”. The prime minister appeals to representatives of the Jewish diaspora to "stand up for the defense of the Holy Land" and "to wreck the Geneva collusion." Indeed, Jerusalem perfectly remembers that the previous attempt to improve relations with Iran led to very unpleasant consequences for Israel: Obama began to demand that the Jewish state abandon its nuclear ambitions.
The Saudi elite are in the same excited feelings. The oil kingdom is afraid of losing its position as a “beloved wife in a harem” and is watching with dismay as America is courting Riyadh’s main geopolitical rival. According to some reports, Saudi intelligence is now discussing with the leadership of the Mossad a joint military operation against Iran and promises to provide its drones and cargo planes.
Arab sheikhs are closely associated with the Western establishment and, coordinating with the Jewish lobby, expect to reverse the situation in Washington and European capitals. And although, at the insistence of Obama, the US Congress did not introduce new sanctions against Iran, the US lawmakers insisted that the administration not refuse sanctions that already exist. And, if something suddenly goes wrong, she returned again to the policy of the whip, forgetting about the gingerbread.
Is "discharge" possible?
It is not surprising that many political analysts believe that, despite Obama’s indifferent statements, another attempt to build bridges with Tehran will end in nothing. Recall that in the first year of his reign, the current US president was already trying to establish a dialogue with the ayatollahs. Even during the election campaign, he announced that he was ready to negotiate with Tehran without preconditions. Two weeks after the inauguration, in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV channel, he promised to "extend a hand to the Iranian leaders if they unclench their fists." Two months later, in his address to the Iranian people on the occasion of the Persian New Year holiday Nowruz, he recognized the legitimacy of the Ayatollah regime. Two months later, he agreed that Iran had the right to enrich uranium, and in Cairo for the first time openly declared that the CIA had participated in overthrowing the Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953.
At the Munich Security Conference in February 2009, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani outlined a number of requirements — including compensation for undeliverable nuclear fuel — that were considered in the West as conditions for starting negotiations. He also recommended the United States "to stop playing boxing and learn to play chess." Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then the Iranian president, personally secured the release of the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who was convicted of spying for 8 years. And observers began to talk about warming in relations between Washington and Tehran. However, in the summer of 2010, the Americans dramatically changed their position and secured the adoption of tough anti-Iran sanctions. And even the American media wrote then that Obama had abandoned the tactic of negotiation at the very moment when she began to bring her first successes. Of course, Ahmadinejad was blamed for the failure. In the West, they generally liked to exhibit an unshaven anti-hero.
However, we must not forget that this was not the first attempt to make peace with Tehran. In 1997, Mohammad Khatami came to power in the Islamic Republic, nicknamed "Ayatollah Gorbachev." He quoted Tocqueville, explaining the similarities between the ideas of Americans and Iranians about freedom, advocated a "dialogue of cultures." However, a serious breakthrough in relations was not achieved then, despite the efforts of the same Hassan Rouhani, who held the post of chief negotiator on the nuclear issue. Everything was limited to the visits of American wrestling athletes to Iran, the liberalization of the visa regime and the lifting of the American embargo on the importation of Iranian carpets and pistachios.
After 11, September, Iran supported the Bush administration in Afghanistan and even collaborated with it in forming the government of Hamid Karzai, but already in 2002, he was considered by the Americans to be the “axis of evil” states. After the fall of Baghdad in May 2003, George Bush rejected the “big deal” proposed by Iran, which involved resolving the most pressing issues related to the nuclear dossier and the support Tehran provided to radical organizations, HAMAS and Hezbollah.
When the Americans got bogged down in Iraq, it became obvious that this was a rash decision. Iran could be very useful to them for a dialogue with the Shiite majority who formed the government in Baghdad. And at the end of 2006, congressmen from the Baker-Hamilton Interparty Commission strongly recommended starting a dialogue with Tehran, or at least “opening a department representing American interests in the Iranian capital”.
The problem was that the neoconservatives who were in charge of the “Greater Middle East” project, in which there was no place for Iranian theocracy, were in power in Washington. They argued that Tehran is the main rival of the United States in the region, advocated tougher economic sanctions and allocated millions of dollars to covert operations against the ayatollahs.
It was they who developed the project of the anti-Iranian union of two ancient opponents - Israel and the Sunni Arabs, which is now becoming more and more clear. In the zero years, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States received weapons worth 20 billion. According to Nicholas Burns, the under-secretary of state in the Bush administration, one of the main goals of these supplies was to "give the Arab countries the opportunity to strengthen their defense capability and thereby ensure the containment of Iranian expansion."
Will Iran become a nuclear power?
As for the talks, the Bush administration insisted that they would be used by Iranian leaders in order to gain the time needed to create a nuclear bomb. As the former US representative to the UN, John Bolton, noted, "following five years of negotiations with the Europeans, Iran has advanced by five years towards nuclear status." “The chances of success of negotiations with the current Iranian authorities are zero,” said Terez Delpech, a French nuclear arms control expert. “There is only a military option for solving the Iranian problem.”
The question is whether such sentiments will prevail now. After all, it is possible that the Americans started a diplomatic game with Tehran only to state in the end: a dialogue with the ayatollahs is impossible, which means we are forced to strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In any case, one should not expect that the Islamic Republic will agree to serious concessions. The experience of Libya and Iraq proves that cooperation with America does not give any guarantees of a sovereign future. And most experts are convinced that talk of detente is only a clever trick of the Iranian elite, which by all means hopes to gain nuclear status. As the President of the Institute of the Middle East, Yevgeny Satanovsky, notes, “Rouhani’s policy fully complies with the religious canons of the Shiites. There is such a principle of prudent silence: if you are Shiite and live in a hostile environment, then why go to death, talking about your faith. Now this principle is used by Iranian diplomats, who only pretend that they are negotiating, and in fact, by leaps and bounds, are moving towards the creation of a nuclear weapons. And this is not surprising: after all, for example, the Americans would not offer Stalin or Mao Zedong, they would hardly refuse the atomic bomb. ”
The most interesting thing is that, according to many political scientists, even a military operation will only slow down the development of the Iranian nuclear program for several years, but will not stop it, and talk of a military solution will only fuel the desire of the Iranians to have their own nuclear arsenal. “The policy of intimidation,” notes American political analyst Zbigniew Brzezinski, “did not prevent India and Pakistan from becoming possessors of nuclear weapons. And the United States had no choice but to establish relations with them. What lesson should Iranian leaders learn from this? ” If Iran does get an atomic bomb, experts do not rule out that small nuclear arsenals will also appear in a number of neighboring states that are not afraid to use them in the event of a "great Middle Eastern war."
If the North Caucasus becomes South Lebanon
Be that as it may, at this stage the Obama administration hopes to make a deal with Tehran, demanding it to stop military support for Hamas and Hezbollah, accept the Malaysian approach to Israel (non-recognition and non-interference) and agree to cooperate with America on Iraqi and Afghan directions. In response, America can recognize the important regional role of Iran, support the accession of the Islamic Republic to the WTO, return arrested Iranian assets, lift all sanctions and assist in modernizing the country's oil and gas industry.
In the case of rapprochement with the United States, Tehran will most likely begin to move away from Moscow, will intensify its role in the Caspian Sea and will demand twenty percent of the Caspian Basin instead of the twelve that it has now. “If America makes an agreement with Iran,” predicts Yevgeny Satanovsky, “it will be possible to forget about the serious role of Gazprom in Europe. And if we start to be outraged - the North Caucasus will become South Lebanon in a few months. Iranian officials are openly discussing such a scenario ... ".