Home Contact Us  
   

Nuclear - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4195, 26 November 2013
 
Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definite Breakthrough
Ruhee Neog
Senior Research Officer, NSP, IPCS
Email: ruhee.neog@ipcs.org
 

The interim nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 on 24 November 2013 was a definite breakthrough. It is the only nuclear deal to have been successfully concluded since the one reached with Rouhani at the negotiating table in the early 2000s, and detractors notwithstanding, it can be hailed as movement in the right diplomatic direction. It must also be remembered that this is an interim deal of six months – a sort of first step to cautiously gauge the opposition’s intentions while addressing concerns for a more conclusive resolution – without immediately tying either party to long-term commitments without proof of the other’s sincerity. This makes it a concrete starting point for further negotiations – of a kind that was previously missing.

Certain preliminary questions/concerns can be raised about the contents of the deal, which have been widely covered in the media, their merits and demerits, and what they require of the parties involved.

Is the Rapprochement Genuine?
Can the possibility of Iran using the deal to buy itself time and further develop its nuclear weapons programme be completely done away with? Saudi Arabia and Israel, who, understandably, are none too happy with the way the meeting concluded in Geneva, have been vocal about the foolhardiness of the P5+1. Indeed, after the last successful nuclear deal with Iran, Rouhani himself admitted that the easing of diplomacy was concomitant with the growth of Iran’s nuclear programme. Would this then be a case of ‘fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’?

Can Sanctions Relief have Negative Implications?
Saudi Arabia and Israel have also commented on the possible negative implications of relief by lifting sanctions. Their contention is that lightening Iran’s economic burden will only create the space for the furtherance of Iranian weaponisation. One of the critical reasons for what could be seen as an artificially induced rapprochement between the West and Iran is the crippling effect of sanctions on the latter. In fact, reports state that Senator Kerry may have cited the peril of imminent sanctions passed by the US Congress – much like the sword of Damocles - to perhaps hasten the process. The message being, sign now or regret later. It was certainly a very effective approach. The point to be made here is this: if sanctions are finally fulfilling their objective of bringing about ‘acceptable’ behaviour, is this the right time to be easing them, especially without any guarantee that the gesture would be reciprocated?

That being said, the sanctions relief that has been promised under the aegis of this deal is limited, and is therefore going to have a limited effect on reversing the Iranian economy. Additionally, and crucially, these sanctions are reversible, which means that any sign of a less than stellar commitment to the clauses of the deal will result in the reinstatement of sanctions. This partial reprieve is really just a taste of what could be in store if Iran ‘behaves’. The above argument, therefore, can be just as easily invalidated as it is established.

Will the US Congress Pose a Challenge?
While sanctions relief may have been promised to Iran, how is the Obama administration going to overcome opposition posed by the Congress? The Congress is famously at odds with the White House over what an ideal nuclear deal with Iran should look like, and while the latter can lift sanctions that were imposed by a presidential order, any attempt to lift those imposed by Congress will be riddled with challenges. This interim deal has promised limited sanctions relief – oil and trade sanctions remain intact - which is doable, for now. But if there is to be a way forward – one which assures the other party of additional respite – how is the Obama administration planning to navigate it? Additionally, there is already talk of fresh sanctions against Iran as an expression of disappointment with the deal. Some members have warned that this may happen when Congress reconvenes in December this year. If this were to happen, it is difficult to envisage how rapprochement between the West and Iran will be reconciled with further penalties imposed by the US Congress.

The negotiations conducted in Geneva cannot be cast as a failure. An ideal deal was not on the cards because even the most initial steps had yet to be agreed upon. This deal lays the foundation to both test the commitment of the parties involved as well as build towards a genuine, long-term resolution. It is precisely the length of this deal that allows both parties to assess each other, and make a swift exit if the results don’t match expectations.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
Ruhee Neog and Ayesha Khanyari,
"Iran Nuclear Deal: Israeli and Saudi Arabian Objections," 31 December 2013
Rajeev Agarwal,
"Iran Nuclear Deal: Why would Iran want to Weaponise?," 13 December 2013
Ayesha Khanyari,
"Iran Nuclear Deal," 9 December 2013
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra,
"Iran Nuclear Deal: American Re-Entry into the Middle East?," 28 November 2013
D Suba Chandran,
"Iran Nuclear Deal: Regional Implications," 28 November 2013
Ayesha Khanyari,
"Iran Nuclear Deal: End of Cold War against the West?," 26 November 2013

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Iran, US and the JCPOA: Fidelity to the Cause

IPCS Forecast: Towards a Nuclear Deal with Iran in 2015

Iran: An Imperfect Nuclear Deal Better Than None At All?

India’s Northeast and the Look East Policy: Challenging Established Notions

India’s Northeast: An Agenda for DoNER

Iran-P5+1: ‘Nothing is Agreed Until Everything is Agreed’

Statehood Demands in India’s Northeast: Is Bodoland Justifiable?

India and No First Use: Does ‘Calculated Ambiguity’ Help?

A Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran: Four Potential Roadblocks

The Hague Nuclear Security Summit: Will the Momentum Persist?

India & Iran: Post Nuclear Deal

Iran 2013: Was Change the Buzzword?

Social Media: A Study of the Northeast

Iran: Nuclear Negotiations

‘Nuclear Weapons, Costs and Myths’: In Response

North Korea: Reforms Imminent?

DPRK and UN Sanctions: China’s Position

ROK in the Asia-Pacific Century

Seoul Nuclear Security Summit 2012: An Analysis of ROK’s Position

China’s ‘Unwavering Policy’ on North Korea: A Print Media Analysis

Inside North Korea: Kim Jong-un and Succession

Waiting for Godot?: US’s North Korean Dilemma

Russian Politicking on the Korean Peninsula

Pakistan’s Nuclear Posturing: Is Hatf-9 a Response to Cold Start?

Iran and Libya: Chasing the Bomb

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.