Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lifting All the Sanctions Imposed on Iran Immediately is Nearly Impossible And Too Risky.


The decision makers in Tehran including Ayatollah Khamenei have repeatedly insisted that, all the sanctions imposed on Iran should be lifted immediately after a nuclear deal with 5+1 is finalized. Is this demand achievable and free of any risk at this stage or not? In order to find a reasonable answer to this question, it would be wise to briefly explore different types of sanctions, which have been imposed on Iran throughout the past couple of years.

Generally speaking, four types of sanctions have been imposed on Iran during the past couple of years. These are as follows.

1- The first type of sanctions are those that have been imposed on Iran by the United Nations Security Council. These sanctions can be divided into two groups: 1-1- The sanctions, which are related to Iran's nuclear activity. These sanctions have been imposed on Iran due to the lack of cooperation and compliance with IAEA standard regulations, rules and demands. Up until this moment, Iran has not been able to fully meet its commitments in this matter according to different IAEA reports. Visiting Parchin site and accepting additional protocol, which would allow IAEA inspectors to visit Iran's nuclear plants in an unlimited and unexpected manners, are among those issues, that Iran has not cooperated with IAEA up until this moment. The lack of fully cooperation with IAEA raises some questions as follows.

Would it be reasonable that the Security Council lifts the sanctions imposed on Iran without any IAEA approval in this matter? Would Iran fully cooperate with IAEA at this critical stage and in the future? Can any powerful state or international entity give a guarantee to the rest of the world in this vital matter? This is not, however, the only obstacle with regards to lifting this type of sanctions imposed on Iran. Because, there is another type of sanction, which is to some extent related to expansionist behavior and Iran's support of various terrorist groups.

1-2- As an example, the Arm Embargo,  which has been imposed on Iran in March 2007 through the UN Security Council Resolution 1747. How would the Security Council deal with this type of sanction in a emerging nuclear agreement with Iran? Would a nuclear deal with Iran fundamentally change the expansionist-hegemonic behavior Of Iran or decrease the level of terrorist activities of the Islamic Regime in a sense that gives a blank check to the Security Council to lift the Arm Embargo? Wouldn't lifting the Arm Embargo facilitate the best opportunity for Iran for its further adventurous conquest in the Middle East and North Africa?

2- The second type of sanctions are those that have been imposed on Iran by the EU. Lifting these types of sanctions is not easy but it is not an impossible task; although all the 28 members of the EU do not have a coherent policy toward Iran in this matter based on many reasons.

3-  The third type of sanctions are those that have been imposed on Iran by the U.S. President and some other entity within current U.S. administration, for example by U.S. Treasury Department. In this respect, we are not facing a serious problem at all. In fact, this is the most easiest part of the story, due to the fact that the Obama administration is ready to sacrifice everything no matter what and how for a nuclear deal with Iran in order to save its foreign policy sinking ship. In this respect, Khamenei's statement is unbelievably correct and true, when he says: The current U.S. government needs a nuclear deal urgently more than Iran.  

4- The fourth type of sanctions are those that have been imposed on Iran by the U.S. Congress. Given the fact that the Republicans have seized the majority and power in both U.S. Senate and Congress, lifting these types of sanctions might not be an impossible mission but without any doubt would be a huge task for the Obama administration. Due to the weak and shaky structure of the emerging deal and rightly lack of trust to the Islamic Regime, the Republicans not only might not cooperate with the current administration, but also they might drag President Obama to an impeachment process in this important matter.

In addition to these complications, we should carefully pay attention to an important point as follows. We should not forget that these sanctions are the result of massive efforts and diplomatic struggles in different terms among various actors throughout the couple of years time. Considering the inherent lack of transparency and accountability of the Islamic Regime with regards to the international laws and conventions, lifting all the sanctions immediately at this stage without any reliable and credible verification is neither logical, nor reasonable. Thus, it would be wise for the international community to temporarily suspend the sanctions in a sense that they would be easily and quickly implemented again without any hassle caused by Russia and China (e.g. Veto), if Iran would not meet its commitments in this matter somewhere in the future.      

As briefly explored above, lifting all the sanctions imposed on Iran immediately at this stage would face some serious legal, technical and political complications in different terms. In addition, lifting all the sanctions at this stage, when Iran's behavior in this matter has not been tested and verified yet, is a too risky move due to the lack of transparency and accountability of the Islamic Regime and the notion that the Iranian Regime has always violated the international laws, regulations and norms in various occasions. Based on all briefly explored above, we come up with two serious questions with regards to a solid and verifiable nuclear deal with  Iran.

1- Are we on the right direction?


2- Are we repeating another Munich Agreement type deal at this historical moment?

Based on my knowledge about the Islamic Regime, its ideological characteristic and goals, i believe the international community is following the second question. I hope, my prediction is wrong in this matter; because i know the negative consequences of a wrong nuclear deal with Iran will be undoubtedly disastrous not only for the Iranian people and the Middle East countries but also for the entire international community in various terms and forms for many years to come. As such, we should be more cautious and careful in terms of an emerging nuclear deal with Iran.

M.  Sirani                             29.03.2015