Baku, Azerbaijan, March 15
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
A nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 will be a good one if it brings Iran out into the global community, ensures NPT requirements, and makes Tehran give Israel the right to exist peacefully, Jonathan Granoff, President of Global Security Institute told Trend on March 15.
Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) are aiming to reach a political understanding by March 31 in the run-up to a comprehensive deal by July 1 deadline.
Referring to concerns by Israel, France, and some US Republicans over reaching a bad deal with Iran Granoff said that "the deal is a good deal. Further acrimony between nations evidenced by hostile rhetoric from Iran and damaging sanctions that are thus stimulated does not lead to normalization of Iran's relations with the rest of the world and the security that normalization will achieve."
He added that Iran is a formidable nation which should not be an outsider in what is increasingly an integrated world.
He said that Iran should be part of the world community to cooperate at a global level to protect the climate and the oceans, end terrorism, eliminate nuclear weapons universally, and so many other issues.
Iran and the P5+1 signed an interim deal in November 2013 to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities such as the 20-percent uranium enrichment. After the sides failed to meet the November 24, 2014 deadline they extended the deal.
However, 47 US senators addressed an open letter spearheaded by freshman senator Tom Cotton on March 9 to Iranian leaders, warning them that any deal with the Obama administration on Iran's nuclear activities will be annulled with the stroke of a (next president's) pen.
Granoff belives that a deal that increases security that Iran will not break out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is a good deal. "It will strengthen the domestic political currency in Iran of leaders who want normalization with the rest of the world and isolate those who advocate a belligerent posture. No deal will hurt those people and lead to further isolation of Iran. That is a bad deal," he stated.
The expert pointed out that Iran could easily marginalize many concerns by making clear that it has no hostile intentions toward Israel but demands that Israel change its policies toward Palestinians and ensure them a viable, stable state and future.
"It could explicitly state that it recognizes the right of Israel to exist and exist in a secure manner," he said.
Iran doesn't recognize Israel, calling it a "usurper regime".
Expert believes that Iran could ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, thus putting aside further fears that it could become a nuclear weapon state, and demand the US similarly ratify the treaty. "Iran could publicly state that the inspection system that could be created under the deal could serve as a model for the world to ensure that in the future other states do not create fear and insecurity regarding proliferation."
On US domestic disagreements over Iran, Granoff stated that much of the criticism of the deal in the US is driven by domestic partisan interests.
"This is a season of toxic relations between Republicans and Democrats such that any international effort that President Barack Obama makes meets with challenges. The Republican Party presently likes no international binding agreements it appears. They even refused to support the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Are the criticisms of such people of the deal driven by logical analysis of the deal or partisan domestic concerns primarily? I think they do not understand international affairs sufficiently. The deal is a good deal in that it will create change for the better. No deal is a bad deal," he emphasized.
Asked about the effectiveness of Iran's offers to suspend the 20-percent uranium enrichment, lower the number of active centrifuges, etc. to build trust with world powers, Granoff noted that the pause provision should not be analyzed in isolation to the entire deal.
"Simply pausing a program that could lead to greater capacity to develop nuclear weapons later is not deeply meaningful. Establishing an ongoing verification and inspection system that forever precludes the development of nuclear weapons is a good thing for Iran and the world," he said.
The more Iran can give confidence that it is a nation seeking a nuclear weapons free world the better for everyone, he further added.
"20 percent enrichment capacity surely is a problem unless the issue of ongoing barriers to breaking out is met. That can only be evaluated in the context of the entire deal," Granoff asserted.
A fresh round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 started on March 15 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The negotiations will start with a meeting of Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif with his US counterpart John Kerry.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will also participate in the Lausanne negotiations.
Deputy foreign ministers of Iran and the US, as well as the EU deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid, are also scheduled to attend the talks.