Russian step-by-step approach to Iran not to be effective

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 19 /Trend T.Konyayeva/

A step-by-step approach proposed by Russia to resolve the disputed Iranian nuclear issue is unlikely to be effective in terms of enhancing cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, and building confidence in the international community, said James Forest, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

"It is unlikely that this approach would result in Tehran cooperating more fully with the IAEA," Forest wrote Trend in an email.

On July 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a step-by-step approach should be used to end international doubts over Iran's nuclear program.

Lavrov noted that every time Tehran satisfactorily answered a question or concern of the IAEA, it should be rewarded, including the freezing of some sanctions and shortening the volume of sanctions.

On Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran has not received Russia's proposal yet but Tehran will study Russia's proposal upon receiving it.
Mehmanparast added that any plan must observe the rights of the Iranian nation.

According to Forest, this proposal is a part of a classic "carrot and stick" approach to diplomatic affairs that has been seen throughout history.

"Incentives and threats of punishment only work with nation-states that have at least some concern for their relationship with the international community," he told. "But not in the case of Iran, where the government has consistently shown a high disregard for the wishes of the international community, and at times has been quite irresponsible in both its domestic affairs and its foreign policies."

Forest believes that the Iranian government in recent years has been consistent in terms of doing what it wants regardless of what the IAEA or the international community wants.

"Because they have not built up any "good faith" with the international community, if Tehran were to start giving the appearance of cooperation, it can be expected that most countries would still suspect them of secretly continuing their program," he concluded.

Iran's nuclear program has caused concern since 2003, when the IAEA became aware of its concealed activity. In late 2003, Iran signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT and voluntarily announced about the suspension of uranium enrichment. However, it returned to this activity.

The enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons. But it is necessary as fuel for atomic power plants. Several countries, including the U.S., are sure that Iran strives to develop nuclear weapons and call for the prevention of this development.

Tehran has denied all charges, insisting that as a party to the NPT it has the full right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Until now, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted six resolutions to stop the nuclear program of Iran and the process of enriching uranium. Four of these resolutions provide economic sanctions against the country.

Following a 14-month break, the talks on Iran's nuclear program between the P5+1 (five UNSC permanent members - the United States, China, Russia, France, Great Britain - plus Germany) and Iran took place in Geneva in December, 2010. A month after, on January 21-22, 2011, Istanbul hosted the next round of discussions chaired by Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

After the Istanbul talks, Ashton stated that she is disappointed with the results of discussions held over Iran's nuclear program.

Tehran says is ready to restart talks with the P5+1 group but only after its right to enrich uranium is recognized.

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