Why are negotiations with Iran classified
Negotiations around the Iranian nuclear program are very nervous. Each side tries to push an opponent into additional concessions.
For several days, the world has been waiting for the end of negotiations between the Six and Iran, which are taking place in Lausanne. However, the parties can not reach a compromise solution. There are very few official comments, but according to unofficial data, among the main problems for which it is not possible to agree is the procedure for lifting sanctions as well as the period during which the Iranian nuclear program will be partially frozen. Meanwhile, the negotiation period ends on March 31. About why the parties can not come to an agreement and what happens if this agreement is not reached in an interview with “Expert Online” told Iranian, visiting researcher at Georgetown University Sevak Sarukhanyan.
Why can't the parties agree for so long? What is the catch?
In that the deadline expires only 31 March, and therefore the Iranians will pull with the agreements until the last moment. Now, judging by the press reports, the Iranian negotiators have begun to say that there are certain forces inside the country that will fail to ratify an unprofitable agreement, therefore it is necessary for the Western countries to make maximum concessions. And judging by the recent statement by Netanyahu, the Iranians manage to force the Americans to make concessions. This is partly why at least most experts believe that the agreement will eventually be signed the other day, I have some doubts. Seeing that their strategy is working, the Iranians want to knock out a few more weeks to discuss the interim agreement.
What exactly is this "disadvantage", which is pushing the Iranians?
Tehran advocates that its "sovereignty is not limited." According to the preliminary draft agreement, the Islamic Republic should freeze part of its nuclear program for 10 years. The Iranians want it to be about 10, and after this period, all restrictions on them (for example, in the area of uranium enrichment) would be automatically removed. After this period, the West wants another 5-year interim period, during which, under the IAEA control, the Iranian program will be defrosted gradually, step by step. The Iranian side is not directly, but through the deputies of the Mejlis or other officials, states that 10 has already been a concession from Iran for years, and it will not make big strides in this matter.
Do Iranians understand that this strategy carries significant risks? And that she can simply disrupt the entire negotiation process, as well as the signing of an agreement?
If you look at the course of all negotiations, without a final agreement, Iran has already removed the cream from them in the form of partial relief of the sanctions regime (and, apparently, irrevocable), withdrawal from isolation, partial recovery of oil exports. Yes, theoretically, with the full lifting of sanctions, Iran will be able to restore oil exports in full, but how profitable is it, given the current level of prices for "black gold"? A number of Iranian economists say that at such prices even a full recovery of export volumes will not return Iran to the “pre-sanctioned” period of 2009-2010. Then, after all, there were not only high oil prices, but also huge gold and foreign exchange reserves - about 90 billions of dollars. Instead of spending them on structural reforms of the economy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent them to support social stability and subsidies. He wanted the people to feel the care of the president and allowed Ahmadinejad to hold the post of the next successor to his protege Esfandiyar Rahim Mashai. So that no one bothers him to spend money, Ahmadinejad even eliminated the Iranian Planning Organization, which has been responsible for major government spending since the 50s. And in the end, up to today, the Rouhani government rakes the rubble of the economic policy of its predecessor - including trying to find papers on where these or other billions of dollars went.
Is a wider lifting of sanctions not interesting to Iran either? Apparently, there is no talk about the full one - the Congress simply will not vote for the lifting of the restrictions it imposed.
Having taken a tough stance on negotiations and actually turning off the process, Congress itself deprived himself of the opportunity to fail the deal. After Netanyahu’s speech at the Capitol, Iran publicly expressed its concerns regarding the US’s ability to implement the agreement, and the parties agreed that the sanctions would be lifted at the UN Security Council, the European Union and the US president would remove what he could lift from the American side. Since the Iranian economy is primarily associated with the EU, China and the Persian Gulf, the preservation of some of the US sanctions on Iranians will not be particularly affected.
And how did Iran accept the congressional statements that the deal will be valid only while Obama is in power?
With humor. Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif even began to teach Congress about US law. In general, this discrepancy between the White House and the Capitol played into the hands of the Iranians: Iran took advantage of this situation in order to knock out additional concessions from Washington. In Iran, for comparison, such discrepancies no longer exist. During the last two months (that is, when the negotiations reached the finish line), spiritual leader Ali Khamenei supported the negotiating team, and a number of representatives of conservative circles began to say that they did not doubt the devotion of team members to the ideas of the Islamic revolution.
However, the congressional position is gradually changing. Netanyahu’s speech was a sort of peak of anti-Iranian sentiment. Now a number of congressmen began to change their position, including, by the way, because of Netanyahu. A number of African-American congressmen who had previously supported Israel angered the Israeli Prime Minister’s words about voting Arabs (on election day, he said that his rivals from the left-wing camp were trying to bring Israeli Arabs to the polling stations to get more mandates - Expert Online) and said de facto cease support for the Netanyahu government. And, apparently, will change the attitude to the transaction. Thus, if the final version of the agreement does not hurt his eyes much, then there will be no strong opposition on the Capitol.
Against the background of the nuclear talks that could prevent a major Middle Eastern war, everyone somehow forgot about the interests of Iran in Yemen, which in the long term are capable of causing this war. How does Tehran assess the situation in this country? And how far is he willing to go in support of the Hussites?
This support really exists, but it is not worth exaggerating its degree. Tehran does not need to arm the Hussites, since they dragged so much from Yemen’s military arsenals weaponshow many Iranians would never even have been able to theoretically supply them. So Iranians help at the diplomatic level as well as in the field of military counseling.
As for the assessment, the statements of the Iranian side are rather restrained. Iran views Saudi actions as a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty, but if the Saudis hope that Tehran will get involved in the conflict and thus jeopardize a nuclear deal, then this will not happen.
Firstly, because the Hussites are not so close to the core. Yes, formally they are Shiites, but not from the point of view of classical Iranian Shiism. For example, the Zaydites recognized Wahhabism as a legitimate branch of Islam, which Iran has never been and never can have. Yes and no they have age stories interactions with Iranian Shiites, such as those of Iraqi.
Secondly, for Iran, Yemen is a periphery. Tehran is now solving a more fundamental task in Iraq. For him, this is the primary area of interest, and Yemen is the secondary. However, in the future, the importance of Yemen may increase. After the Iranians finish nuclear talks and deal a decisive blow to the IG, they will more actively use Yemen to destabilize the situation in Saudi Arabia.
If only Saudi Arabia during this time does not deal a decisive blow to the Hussites.
Well, Saudi operations in Yemen will not end quickly. First, it will not be easy to deal with the wrangling because of their extreme militancy and aggressiveness. They, for example, can become the imam of anyone who rebelled against injustice and against the enemy, so war is seen as a kind of social elevator. The Turks, by the way, experienced the hard way - at the beginning of the 20th century, they were faced with the Zidite uprising, and simply could not suppress it. A few years ago, Abdullah Gul was in Yemen and visited a memorial dedicated to tens of thousands of dead Turkish soldiers and officers.
In addition, Riyadh will have to strike not only against the Hussites - against the background of the aggressive anti-Shiite rhetoric of Saudi Arabia and its actions, all Yemenite Shiites have rallied around the Houthites.
And can Iran raise, along with Yemen, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia?
Theoretically, it can - a huge resource for destabilization. Unlike the late King Abdullah, who did a lot to reduce the contradictions between Saudi Shiites and Sunnis (for example, he opened branches of the National Assembly in Eastern Province, where they discussed including the problems of the Shiite community), the new King Salman is a radical. We have already begun to talk about the fact that he can abolish all moderate reforms of his predecessor, concerning both Shiites and, for example, improving women's rights. And if after the liberalization of life there is a reaction, then it causes more rapid resistance than the one that would have been without liberalization.