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Iran deal could reduce antagonism in Middle East

21 July 2015 [14:15] - TODAY.AZ

By Sara Rajabova - AzerNews 

The recent nuclear deal that put an end to decade-old nuclear dispute on Iran’s nuclear energy program is expected to change the political map of the Middle East region, which is now struggling with numerous conflicts.

Some experts believe that this achievement will trigger positive conclusions to the conflicts ravaging the region, while others consider this can lead to further escalation of the situation in the Middle East.

“At present, turmoil is spreading across the Middle East, considering Libya, Sinai, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. In part, but more and more, the fighting and turmoil has become a struggle between Shias and Sunnis. If Iran gets more resources, it enables it to send more money to Assad regime and Houthis in Yemen,” Kamran Dadkhah, a professor of economics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts told AzerNews.

He believes that this, in turn, may prompt Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others to increase their involvements in the fighting. “If this happens, worse times are awaiting for the Middle East.”

Dadkhah also added that the deal, however, could also pave way for reducing tension in the region.

“On the other hand, now that Iran is not under pressure, it may be a good time to work toward reducing antagonism in the region,” Dadkhah said.

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini described the conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group as "a model" that countries throughout the world can set to overcome crises.

In her interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, the top EU negotiator in the Iran talks said the nuclear conclusion is “a model to resolve other crises.”

She expressed her belief that the deal is an important investment for restoration of peace, tranquility, and change for Iran, particularly for the West and parts of the Middle East.

Though the West and Iran could sort out long-lasting differences and reach a deal, the main question now is whether or not they can fulfill their responsibilities and if the deal be firm or not.

Dadkhah said there is no guarantee that the nuclear deal would be firm.

“The nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 has 159 pages. Many points described in it are open to interpretation. Therefore, it would not be surprising if in the months and years ahead each side accuses the other of breaking the deal. Let us recall that in 1994 North Korea signed a nuclear agreement and within two years it tested its nuclear bomb,” the experts said.

He noted that on the other hand, Iran and the six countries involved in this deal have conflicting interests and can act in ways that other partners can claim in violation of the agreement.

“It would be easy for Iran to delay inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency or frequently call for arbitration. Such behavior and suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities could give the next American president enough ammunition to rescind the deal or re-impose the sanctions,” Dadkhah said.

He also said in addition, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia may feel insecure and take actions on their own.

“Thus, the deal would be as firm as Iran’s commitment not to seek nuclear weapon and avoid provocative actions in the region,” Dadkhah said.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany -- reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in Vienna following 18 days of intensive talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.


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