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

Russian Help on Iran Less Promising on Syria, Ukraine

US-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

US-Ethiopia Relationship Strong, But Complicated

While Ethiopia serves as a valuable security ally and a bulwark against terrorism - the U.S., is a major aid donor and economic stimulator More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs