Stimson in the News

Geneive Abdo in Aljazeera America on Iran Nuclear Deal

in Program

The progress made in Geneva last week between Iran and major world
powers is making the naysayers of a possible nuclear deal extremely
frustrated. Although no deal was struck, an interim agreement seems
inevitable, if not when Iran meets the P5+1 again on Nov. 20, then
shortly thereafter. In addition, the United States and Iran are now
engaging in unprecedented bilateral talks. There are several reasons
this time is different:

First, both the United States and Iran are eager for a deal
immediately, even if it is an interim arrangement for six months and
will require more difficult and detailed negotiations at a later time.
Hard-liners in both countries are waiting at the gates to sabotage the
process. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is profiting from
international sanctions, and it is not in its interest if sanctions are
lifted – which is the ultimate goal of the Iranian negotiators,
supported by President Hassan Rouhani. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also
supports the process, with some reservations. Principal Friday prayer
leaders in Iran are also endorsing the talks.

Iran is running out of foreign currency reserves as a result of
sanctions. Tehran must once again be able to sell its oil on the vast
world market (not just to a few governments unfazed by sanctions) and
thus needs a lifting of the oil embargo imposed on it. Also, due to
international banking sanctions, Iran cannot do business in the
international sphere. Although these sanctions would not be lifted
immediately if a deal is struck, this is Iran’s ultimate goal.

To read the full op-ed, click here

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