By Iran Review
By Behzad Khoshandam*
Two years after conclusion of Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “reconciliatory strategic necessity” is still the main protector of this international agreement. In practice, not merely in theory, the use of diplomacy is the sole sustainable way to settle disputes and maintain balance of powers in West Asia, which pivots around this agreement that was signed on July 14, 2015. After the lapse of two tense years in West Asia, effective productivity and accurate implementation of the JCPOA is now even more connected to domestic policies of those countries, which signed this international agreement as well as Iran’s neighbors. However, predictable limitations are currently creating challenges to the implementation of the JCPOA on the sidelines of global politics.
During this time, the world has witnessed major developments with regard to domestic and foreign policies of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, in addition to important political developments in the United States. Major developments have taken place in the area of domestic policies of France, the UK, and Germany as a result of which a form of pessimism has grown among the European states with regard to trans-Atlantic relations as well as defense and security reliance on the United States and such international bodies as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Group of Eight (G8), and the Group of Twenty (G20). At the same time in the East, Asian cooperation among major Asian power poles such as China-Russia, India-Russia, Iran-Asian powers and other important actors has been progressing within such important regional and international bodies as the BRICS group of developing countries and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as through such groundbreaking projects as China’s “One Belt and One Road” initiative.
Despite rapid changes in world politics, it seems that global challenges are still changing and these changes have become even more profound. Among these challenges is the issue of terrorism, which has been a source of concern from 2015 to 2017 for all global actors, who seek a comprehensive and overarching solution to current problems. In addition to the challenge of terrorism, the crisis of immigrants, organized crime, divisionism, secessionism, extremism, and ethnic hatemongering, top global, regional and national agendas. Due to strategic voids caused by these crises, those political actors, which promote Iranophobia, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, have been resorting to negative actions and have been beating the drums of extremism and violence in a bid to create religious, ethnic and racial gaps in the region. Continuation of hysteric and hostile behaviors of Israel and Saudi Arabia with regard to Iran two years after the conclusion of the Iran deal has been a reaction to Iran’s measures to reclaim its normal position in geopolitical, strategic, economic and energy equations in the region at a time that Arab-Arab disputes are expanding in scope. The behaviors of the aforesaid two actors have sometimes even caused confusion in Turkey’s foreign policy in the region. Under these conditions, it seems that on July 14, 2017, the Iran deal is fighting against heirs to Obama’s four legacies for the Middle East, that is, Daesh, proxy wars, immigration crisis, and redefinition of the Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916).
The existing evidence shows that Iran’s regional might and responsibility have been retested during the two years that have passed since the conclusion of the Iran deal. Two years after signing the nuclear agreement and based on this claim, Iran is now convincing its regional rivals and partners on the basis of the logic of strategic partnership within its spheres of influence and civilization. At the same time, all reports on Iran produced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as other influential global institutions and personalities, including periodical reports by the secretary general of the United Nations to the Security Council, have attested to Iran’s profound, committed and multilayered compliance with the JCPOA as well as Resolution 2231, which was adopted two years ago by the Security Council.
On the occasion of the second anniversary of the conclusion of the JCPOA, the secret to sustainability and productivity of the JCPOA – at least during the year that is ahead of us – is that its content and legal text as well as strategic goals must not be overshadowed by domestic policies and orientations of the P5+1 countries, including the United States, and Iran’s regional rivals.
Despite positions that the new US president took during his election campaign, Donald Trump’s commitment to the choice of reconciliatory strategic necessity with regard to the Iran deal seems to be inevitable. All parties signed the Iran deal on July 14, 2015 on the basis of the win-win logic and strategic necessities, and also in view of stabilizing, security-building and balancing outcomes of the deal.
Without a doubt, it is a new necessity to reassess conformity of domestic policies of those countries, which have been a party to this deal, to its necessities, content, driving forces, and messages as well as to real strategic effects of this international document. Due to high output of the Iran deal in the past two years, such reassessment can play a very important part, especially in increasing effective productivity of this global document, which is a product of multilateral diplomacy. It can even play a role in attracting constructive cooperation of other global players during the third millennium and make them practically committed to a “collective security” system.