The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West are progressing well, and they are expected to reach a good agreement for Tehran, but what is good for Iran will not be good for the entire Arab region and the Middle East.
About 30% of the agreement’s terms are still under discussion. The mullahs of Iran insist on “guarantees and verification because America’s customary non-compliance threatens any agreement.” This is what the administration of President Joe Biden cannot provide despite its insistence on the agreement because the Congress has not yet given him the green light to pass such an agreement.
Therefore, Tehran is living in a quandary between the need to lift sanctions and the insistence on the high ceiling that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei imposed on the negotiator. The Biden administration is also in a double trap. On the one hand, there is the political division at home, and the growing opposition to the administration’s major concessions for the agreement, not only among the Republican Party but also among the ruling Democratic Party. On the other hand, there is the resentment of allies and friends in the Middle East at Washington’s yielding to the dictates of the mullahs, who refused to negotiate directly with it and discuss any issue outside the nuclear file.
The crisis was explained by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice during the days of President Bush when she said that “the West made a mistake in accepting the Soviet Union on its terms in the Cold War, and it should not make the same mistake with Iran.”
There is no good agreement between the American and European West, firstly because the West has given up on negotiating the issues of ballistic missiles, Iran’s regional influence, and “destabilizing behavior”. Secondly, the justification for speed is that the period of Tehran’s delay in obtaining the necessary materials to make a bomb after obtaining the knowledge, is just “nine months,” according to experts, and “five weeks,” according to the Biden administration, and it was not a simple matter for the mullahs to test the “Kybershkin” missile, which means “the destruction of Khyber” and its range is 1,450 km.
As for Iran, the “good deal” is the agreement in which it gets America’s return to the agreement, the lifting of sanctions, the continuation of the missile program and expansion in the Middle East, and the financing of the militias that are fighting on it, and then the bomb. Thus, nothing prevents it from continuing the military aspect of its nuclear program in secret, as it has done so far, despite the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It makes no sense to repeat a fatwa prohibiting nuclear weapons, because the state is already spending hundreds of billions of dollars and bears the harshest sanctions for a nuclear program for peaceful purposes in which the whole world is preparing to help it, and everyone knows that such a nuclear agreement will enter the region into a phase of chaos and turmoil more dangerous than what we see now. It is an illusion that it is an opportunity for America to ease its commitments in the Middle East to focus on the Far East.
If the two sides reach an agreement in the coming days, it will be crucial for the Arab region which suffers from political and security fragility.
Dr. Hatem Sadek: Professor at Helwan University