Baku, Azerbaijan, May 5
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Recognizing Iran 's nuclear program by the global community will pave grounds for more military competitions in the Middle East region, Hassan Hashemian, an Iranian expert on Arab regional issues said.
A possible nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic would push Arab countries towards their own nuclear ambitions, Hashemian told Trend May 5.
Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) reached a nuclear framework agreement on April 2 in Lausanne that raised hopes for achieving a comprehensive nuclear deal by June 30.
The deal provisions the removal of all international sanctions on Iran and in return narrowing the range of the country's nuclear activities.
The agreement will recognize Iran 's right to keep its nuclear program and uranium enrichment via almost 5000 active centrifuges.
The conditions predicted in deal will keep Iran 's "break-out time" to a nuclear bomb as long as one year, if the Islamic Republic decides to make it.
Hashemian believes that the Arab countries' concerns are not about the number of the centrifuges.
Their concerns are security-related, the expert said, adding the Arab countries are concerned that the Islamic Republic will threaten regional countries to move towards producing a nuclear weapon.
They are concerned that the nuclear issue would play an important role in the regional security equations, Hashemian stressed.
Meanwhile the US administration has held various meetings with the region's Arab leaders to reassure them about a possible nuclear deal with Iran, Hashemian added.
He further said the Arabic media is now focusing on the issue and the need for Arab countries to defend their national security by themselves.
Arab media argues that protecting national security by relying on the US is not enough and emphasizes that the Arab countries should take steps to safeguard their security by themselves or through cooperation with other countries such as France, Hashemian said.
French President Francois Hollande's visit to the region should be considered within this perspective, he underlined.
France and Saudi Arabia believe that any future deal between Iran and the six major powers must ensure not to destabilize the region further and threaten Iran's neighbors, Hollande and Saudi Arabia's King Salman said in a statement after meeting on May 4.
The visit to Riyadh, where Hollande also met Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, comes after a period where Paris has been able to nurture new links with the region following similar analysis to Gulf Arab states on crises and a perceived disengagement from traditional ally the United States.
"They wanted us to come so they could say to the Americans, look we also have France; it's up to you to not get distanced and to be here with us," said a French diplomat, Reuters reported May 5.
Hashemian believes that relying on France is an option for Arab countries as they most likely will move towards a nuclear program and even nuclear weapons to establish a balance with Iran.
They can also receive help from Pakistan in this case, the expert said.
Edited by CN
Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh