The Geneva Agreement of the Six with the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is undoubtedly an event historical. The only question is with what sign they are evaluated. Commentators who believe that a diplomatic victory was won in Geneva (and there are most of them) are unlikely to think about how this agreement differs in its main parameters from the fall of Rouhani. Although he was not yet president. And the leader of the country was the same Ayatollah Khamenei.
The level of development of Iran’s nuclear program in 2003 was much lower than in 2013. The United States was at the height of power, and Iran, more than in 2013, was inclined to listen to the world community. The crisis of the Western strategy in the Middle East was still ahead. The US union with Israel, Turkey and the Arabian monarchies is strong, as is their relationship with Pakistan and the secular regimes of the Arab world.
Ahead - failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the crisis of the “Arab spring”, the betrayal of the allies for the sake of democratization of the region, the slip of American policy in Syria, the inability to cope with international terrorism, including on the territory of the States themselves. Not to mention the economic crisis that significantly reduced the ability of Americans to wage war. However, the president of the United States in 2003 was Bush, not the populist Obama, who was not too committed to American values and obligations.
Be that as it may, the 2003 Geneva negotiations of the year were conducted by a weaker Iran with a stronger West. Since Iran led them precisely with the West. Russia and especially China, which was then its partner to this day, was not considered as a factor of external threat in Tehran. The defeat of the Afghan Taliban, the lightning-quick defeat of Iraq and the capture of Baghdad by the Americans created a sense of immediate threat from the Iranian leadership, which was withdrawn by Rouhani, despite harsh criticism of its activities from the conservative wing of the Iranian military-political elite.
However, this situation lasted only two years. This was followed by a long period of aggressive foreign policy, “tightening the screws” in the domestic political sphere and the intensive development of the nuclear program. And in the field of not only enrichment of uranium, but also the creation of warheads and launch vehicles. For what, in fact, the space program of Iran and is intended. A decade-old Geneva talks were necessary for Tehran only to gain time to develop a nuclear program in a more favorable and safe environment. It’s more than strange to ignore this experience, optimistic about the current agreement in Geneva.
Another thing is that negotiations with Iran in Geneva, as envisioned by the current administration of the American president, should be the first step towards normalizing relations with this country. The logic is visible here. President Obama is clearly determined not only to curtail the US military presence in the Middle East, not to mention the fight against international terrorism, but, judging by the latest US National Security Strategy, he redirects his country to confrontation with China. Which requires a review of the list of priorities and relations with traditional regional allies.
Establishing cooperation with Iran to ensure that the interests of the United States in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the main military contingent controlling this country from 2014, in addition to Pakistan, are based on some of the serious regional players, Washington needs. China is excluded here by definition. Russia too. The bet on India has not justified itself. The US leadership has little trust in Pakistan, which it demonstrates, ignoring the protests of the military-political leadership of this country against the conduct of US special operations on its territory. Whether it is the elimination of Osama bin Laden or the destruction of the Taliban leaders with the help of UAVs. America’s cooperation with Iran, if it succeeds, can help Obama solve this problem.
The second direction in which the establishment of relations with the IRI unlocks the situation, for the Americans contradictory, is the safety of the water area of the Persian Gulf. It is clear that the States will retain control over the situation in this important region for the world economy in any scenario. However, the policy of self-sufficiency in the United States with hydrocarbons gives America many more degrees of freedom in pursuing its regional policy. And this policy can be more flexible.
The USA does not refuse strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia. The ideas on the formation of several weak states on its territory still remain within the framework of theoretical research of political technologists. But the kingdom is entering a period of change of generations of the ruling elite. Its stability leaves much to be desired, moreover, there are no chances to reduce the level of contradictions between Wahhabi Nejd and the Shiites of the Eastern Province, the Ismailis of Najran and the Zaydites of Assyr. This leaves room for any development, including the disintegration of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
An example of how Obama passed Hosni Mubarak in Egypt recalls the similar policy of his predecessor, Carter, against the Iranian Shah in 1979. This forces the Saudi leadership to suggest the possibility of the same attitude to their own dynasty in the event of its difficulties in controlling the country. Tensions between Riyadh and Washington are growing lately.
Three kingdom answers
The KSA's policy of supporting terrorist groups close to Al-Qaeda, such as Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, as well as the accumulated problems in the control of radical Islamists in the United States itself have strengthened the position of the Saudoscaptic in the CIA and the Pentagon. “9 / 11”, “a small September 11 in Libya”, during which the ambassador was killed and the staff of the US consulate in Benghazi were killed, “Boston terrorist attack” and other such events reduced the level of American confidence in Saudi information. The establishment of informal ties with Iran is a natural and inevitable result of this.
Note that Saudi Arabia’s response to negotiations and an agreement with Iran in Geneva, in addition to ignoring Secretary of State Kerry and CIA Director Brennan during their visit to Riyadh from Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of the KSA General Intelligence Directorate, as well as the demonstrative refusal of this countries from the place of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council with the demand to reform this organization is implemented in three directions.
First, it announced the formation of a mercenary Army of Mohammed (another name for it is the Army of Islam) from 250 thousands of people grouped into 50 brigades. The units formed on the ethnic principle of the Jordanians, Pakistanis, Egyptians and Yemenis, it is intended to use to achieve the military and political objectives of KSA in Syria and Yemen.
In Syria, this confrontation is with the Alawites, while the overthrow of Assad has failed and the ruling regime wins the civil war. In Yemen, with the Housits, whose tribes defeated the Saudi National Guard not long ago. Hope for the participation of US troops and their NATO allies in both conflicts no longer exists. Iran, establishing its relations with the West, becomes an extremely dangerous adversary for the kingdom.
Secondly, it is stated, albeit in passing, that the emergence of Iran’s nuclear weapons confronts Saudi Arabia with the need to obtain similar technologies, which, according to experts, it is from Pakistan and will receive in the form of finished products with carriers and service personnel. The latter means an arms race, and nuclear ones, which most likely will not be limited to KSA and Iran.
The development of events in such a scenario with a high degree of probability will occur in the short term, raising the relevant questions to other major regional players, of which Turkey will be the main one. This will mark the end of the non-proliferation regime. The process is not limited to the Middle East. Moreover, all its participants will argue that they are developing nuclear programs for peaceful purposes.
As a consequence, in perspective, the Geneva agreement with Iran in the format that we are seeing will not lead to the elimination of the Iranian nuclear program, but to its legitimation, with all the ensuing consequences. Technologically, nuclear weapons today can produce around 40 countries, including North Korea, currently nine. And over the years, 20 – 25 can be in service with 25 – 30 states that have small nuclear arsenals with a relatively low threshold for their use.
Returning to the reaction of Saudi Arabia to the Geneva agreements with Iran, we note the third direction of Riyadh activity: the intensification of informal contacts with Israel. Information leaks about KSA proposals to provide Jerusalem with an air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities make air refueling corridors, information from Saudi drones and support for sabotage and reconnaissance groups in Iran most likely correspond to reality.
The fact that Israel is interested in contacts with the leaders of the Arab world and will consider their proposals regarding confrontation with Iran does not mean that it will accept them. Saudi Arabia is a non-permanent and dangerous partner, as the United States has learned from experience, whose influence on the kingdom is immeasurably superior to that of Israel.
An alliance with Riyadh in the confrontation with Tehran for Jerusalem can be a medicine that is worse than the disease. For the Salafis, the war of the Jews and the Shiites is a double success. KSA will do everything to provoke a collision between them. But the kingdom will do everything to ensure that there are no winners in this war. And the current Israeli leadership understands this.
For those Israeli experts who soberly assessed what was happening around the Iranian nuclear program, the intentions and capabilities of Western countries, as well as the readiness of President Obama to curtail the American presence outside its own territory and the rejection of the security guarantees received by the US allies under his predecessors, the outcome of Geneva was not a surprise become.
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a person more committed to American values than Obama, took it painfully. There is no doubt that if Iran crosses the “red line” designated for the Americans by the Israeli leadership, Israel will strike at Iranian nuclear facilities. However, there is no doubt that the US wants an attack of this kind, if it takes place, to be carried out only in coordination with the Pentagon and in the period indicated by the White House.
Israel is concerned
Rumors that the top leadership of the United States, using its information about what is happening in the Israeli IDF, repeatedly disrupted Israeli operations against the Iranian nuclear program, leaked to the press, after which it was simply pointless to carry out any actions, apparently correspond to reality. This poses a new challenge for Israel in terms of cooperation with the United States on Iranian issues.
The task is to interact with a partner whom Israel cannot fully trust. This is exactly what the Israeli expert group, starting in the United States, will work together with the Americans on the coordination of positions on the Geneva agreements. It can be assumed that the agreements will be adjusted and their final interpretation by the States from the Israeli point of view will be much better than at the time of the end of the negotiations in Geneva. Although worse than all that the Americans and Israelis agreed to before the negotiations. The possibility of a strike on Iran in any case, Israel has. Moreover, Obama as president of the United States is not forever. The only question is the impact efficiency.
Only Israel, without the support of the United States, can slow down Iran’s nuclear program. Destroy - no. And this explains why almost all Israeli political leaders are focused on the Iranian threat. The Geneva Agreement with Iran not only does not provide for the elimination of its nuclear potential, but also signifies acceptance of the right to enrich uranium. That is, it destroys the binding resolutions of the UN Security Council, which demanded that of Iran. Given that Iran retains facilities in Ford, Natanz, Arak and, freezing uranium enrichment work to 20 percent, reserves all the necessary capacity for this, their activity can be resumed at any time. Especially since the reactor in Arak, as announced, will be completed.
Iran not only preserves the entire scientific and industrial potential in the nuclear field, but also continues to enrich uranium to five percent. Even assuming that he has only those objects whose fate was discussed in Geneva, the agreement adopted there gave him the time needed to refine the components of the nuclear complex that have not yet been brought to the required level: warheads and launch vehicles. However, Iran has objects that have not been discussed in Geneva. What happens there is unknown.
Thus, by refusing small-scale accumulation of highly enriched uranium, which is useless anyway, Iran got what it needed. Including access to the frozen funds, although only to a small part of them. It is clear that a lot can change in six months. Moreover, according to most experts, at the time of the start of negotiations in Geneva, the IRI remained a year and a half before the nuclear bomb. As a result, having temporarily rendered quantitative indicators, Iran has all the opportunities to bring the quality indicators to the necessary condition.
Characteristically, speaking a few hours before the start of the 20 negotiations in Geneva in November in front of 50 by thousands of Basij militia officers, the spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Israel a rabid dirty dog in the region. What does the continuation of the course of the destruction of the Jewish state, which the same Khamenei before the previous round of negotiations called illegitimate country, means? Iranian leaders are not limited to appeals: two of their previous wars, the second Lebanese 2006 and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008 – 2009, Israel led de facto against Iran.
The standard Iranian strategy of war against Israel includes the use of Arab military-terrorist formations in Gaza and southern Lebanon, trained by instructors from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and armed with Iranian missiles. The technology of using underground tunnels to penetrate the Israeli rear and conduct special operations there is Iranian know-how. A political and propaganda war with Israel around the world complements the attacks on its borders. The same applies to intelligence activities and operations to explode embassies and representative offices of Israeli official organizations.
Although Iran is currently waging a larger-scale fight against Sunni radicals and the question of hegemony in the Islamic world, primarily in countries with large Shiite communities and the Persian Gulf zone, for it is more important than the confrontation with Israel, its own claims to pan-Islamic leadership make Iran to concentrate its ideology on the struggle against the Jewish state. Therefore, Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon, regardless of its power and the number of units in Israel, is assessed as the number one threat. This is also because it makes Iran invulnerable to external force intervention. Unless, of course, do not consider the nuclear bombing of this country.
Israel, analyzing the agreements in Geneva, notes that they correspond to the “red lines” that Iran designated before the start of negotiations. Four of them were named in the Tehran newspaper Kaykhan: not to close the facility in Ford, not to stop building the reactor in Arak, not to export enriched uranium from Iran, and most importantly not to sign the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The fifth was outlined in Geneva by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif: the continued enrichment of uranium.
Who is the winner?
Professionals note the outcome of Geneva as a significant success not of the “six”, but of Tehran. Putting aside substantive questions, it should be noted that Iran has not signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT and the modified IAEA code 3-1 regarding direct control has not been introduced. This will neutralize the IAEA inspectors regardless of what the diplomats think about this.
There are few hopes in terms of monitoring the Iranian nuclear program at the IAEA and its inspectors. All that could fail in the control of the non-proliferation regime, they failed both in Iran and in Libya and North Korea. Not to mention the fact that while the IAEA was working on Iraq, nuclear technologies and equipment from Pakistan diverged around the world. And the “conspiracy of Abdul-Kadir Khan” was discovered not because of them, but after he became aware of him from Gaddafi.
As for Russia, it is the only one among the negotiators with Iran that borders. Requirements to recognize Iran’s rights to the 20 percent of the Caspian Sea are the only territorial dispute on the perimeter of Russian borders that Moscow has not settled. On the other hand, Tehran did not participate in destabilizing the situation in the North Caucasus, although, of course, from its own pragmatic considerations. Getting them nuclear weapons is dangerous for the Russian Federation, but it cannot be compared with the danger that Israel and KSA have.
In conclusion, it should be noted that in the 1938 – 1939 years, going to an agreement with Germany, Western and then domestic diplomats were about the same euphoria that is currently in relation to the agreement with Iran, concluded in Geneva. And the press received from them the same comments in enthusiastic tones, which, as is well known, did not stop the Second World War. Although ideally it was supposed to bring "peace for generations." As Winston Churchill said later about this: “We had a choice between disgrace and war. We chose shame and got the war. ”