Thursday, May 30, 2024

Iran deal could be a smokescreen

The “historic” nuclear deal between Iran and five world powers could go either way—either it brings up a nuclear smoke in the Middle-East or it could be the start of United States’ distancing itself from Saudi Arabia and Israel, its two front soldiers in the region.

Tehran has submitted itself to a 15-year moratorium on enriching uranium beyond minimum required for civilian nuclear program. By December 15, all existing disputes should be settled. Early 2016, all the sanctions on Iran could be lifted. Under the agreement though, sanctions could be re-imposed in 65 days if the deal is violated.

However, the conventional arms embargo on Iran stays for another five years. All this while, Israel and Saudi Arabia are being weaponized massively. Last May, US Congress approved a $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel. Saudis spent a massive $80 billion on weapons in 2014. Qatar, another US ally, has clinched an $11 billion arms deal. Saudis are in the middle of an illegal war in Yemen. Israel, having gobbled up Palestine, is eyeing southern Lebanon.

“Saudi Arabia spends 13 times more money on its defense than Iran does. But somehow Iran, and not Saudi Arabia, is seen by the US as the potential aggressor,” says Trita Parsi, president of the National American-Iranian Council.

Those who suspect United States’ motives, claim that war against Iran’s ally Syria is still being staged. At some stage, Iran could be seen to be in violation of the agreement and it would be a perfect ruse for US to back a Saudi-Israel aggression. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already declared the deal as a “historic mistake” and the “darkest day in world history.”

Sceptics point out that US has always been hostile to those nations who refuse to be a vassal state—Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, North Korea, Russia and China.

Iran “escaped” US in 1979. For several decades, US has sought a regime change in Iran, whether from outside or inside. The recent nuclear negotiations lasted for nearly a decade.

The propaganda on Iranian nukes go back a long way despite the National Intelligence Report of United States that Iran abandoned interest in nuclear weapons at least a decade ago. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have consistently reported there is no evidence of a nuke weapons programme.

When Washington planted anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s border, it had lied that the purpose was to intercept, non-existent Iranian nuclear ballistic missiles!

The optimists however feel that US has begun to weigh its mistake of reliance on Saudis and Israel in the region which have unleashed several terrorists forces, such as IS, for its own end in the region. President Barack Obama desperately needed a foreign policy success. US rapidly has lost moral and political clout in Central Asia and given rise to anti-US sentiments around the world. It wants to balance out the naked aggression of Saudis and Israel.

For now though, the deal will become a magnet for massive foreign investments. Major multinationals will salivate at the prospect of a 70-million people market, including an extremely well-educated middle class. Most sectors will receive a boost. India, freed from its shackles, would use Iran to balance out the AfPak terror threat. Major oil deals are likely too between Iran and India, two of world’s greatest civilisations.

Iran has a massive 50 million barrels of oil in store. Most of it would now go to China. Iran would recover the lost ground to Persian Gulf producers. It potentially is in conflict with Russia on oil markets but they could function in their own separate zones. Iran has declared it would prioritize export to Asia and would look to regain 42 percent of European market share that it had lost out due to international sanctions.

For the moment, world is hailing the deal. Tariq Rauf, former head of Verification and Security Policy at the IAEA, terms it “the most significant multilateral nuclear agreement in two decades—the last such agreement was the 1996 nuclear test ban treaty.” Rauf even wants the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to go to US Secretary of State Jon Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.


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