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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.