News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Pact Sets New Dynamics in Motion

Iran Nuclear Pact Sets New Dynamics in Motioni
X
November 26, 2013 3:58 PM
International officials involved in negotiating the preliminary agreement with Iran on its nuclear program say it is the first step toward guaranteeing that Iran is nuclear weapons-free thus making the world a safer place. But that would also potentially create a sanctions-free Iranian economy that could enable Iran to use other elements of its power more extensively. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London.

Iran Nuclear Pact Sets New Dynamics in Motion

Al Pessin
International officials involved in negotiating the preliminary agreement with Iran on its nuclear program say it is the first step toward guaranteeing that Iran is nuclear weapons-free thus making the world a safer place.

But that would also potentially create a sanctions-free Iranian economy potentially enabling Iran to use other elements of its power more extensively.

Feeling the burden

Before the sanctions, Iran's economy was growing at about six percent a year. Now it is shrinking, as the sanctions cost it five billion dollars a month.
 
Feeling the burden of these measures, Iran's people elected the relatively moderate candidate, Hassan Rouhani, as president, with a mandate to end the sanctions. And his foreign minister was greeted as a hero when he returned from the talks.

"The greatest benefit will be peace, the message of peace," said one Iranian woman. "And the economy is also important. We will see progress in every field."

Point of pride

But that means giving up much of the nuclear program, a huge point of pride for many Iranians.

In the end, Iran's leaders may have decided to trade away the potential to build a weapon that made them international pariahs and whose highly destructive force and global revulsion would have made difficult to use.
 
In return, they could get a weapon they can use - a stronger economy and more resources to funnel to their allies, including the Iraqi government, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
“The main priority will be to ensure that the economic issue doesn't become a risk in terms of stability," said Iran analyst Torbjorn Soltvedt of the Maplecroft risk assessment firm. "But obviously an economically stronger Iran, you could see it play a more active regional role.”

Although not as dangerous as a nuclear weapon, a more active intervention policy would still cause concern for Iran's adversaries in the region and in the West.
 
Threat perception

But a final nuclear accord, due in six months, could improve Iran's international relations and make what Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group calls its “forward defense policy” less important.
 
“A nuclear agreement can reduce Iran's threat perception," Vaez said. "It will have less motivation to support groups in the region that could basically serve as a way of extending conflict away from its borders.”
 
That is an optimistic scenario, and it suggests what former British ambassador to Iran, Richard Dalton, thinks is a broad strategic decision by Iran's leaders.

“I believe that this Iranian leadership, including the Supreme Leader, has realized that the Iranian state, and the Iranian people, cannot prosper, and the future of the Islamic Republic cannot be secure, if there is no accommodation with the West on the nuclear program,” Dalton said.
 
Iran has worked hard over many years and at great expense to build its nuclear program. Iranian leaders say the program is for peaceful purposes, like energy and research. Now, if they prove it to the international community, they could get their economy back, opening the opportunity for better, or worse, international relations.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid