How should the Iran nuclear deal be analyzed?

Final Talks

Alef, a news website, has said that any critique of the Iran nuclear deal should take into account people’s sensitivities and underline the deal’s outcomes for people instead of focusing on the legal connotation of the words.

With a nuclear deal at hand, signatories to the agreement, that is to say, Iran and P5+1, are expected to do their own share to implement the deal. Some say the fact that the two sides will not take parallel measures in the implementation phase means Iran is giving concession(s) to the West, but there is no denying that the other party’s possible non-fulfillment of its promises will bolster national distrust of the West among the Iranians.

The landmark deal will overshadow the Islamic Revolution’s anti-imperialism approach if it relays the following message to Iranian society: resistance to imperialism does not pay off and we need to cooperate with it. One does not need a legal or political review to better shape the minds of people. What forms people’s cast of mind is the way the West behaves in dealing with the Iran nuclear deal.

Alef.ir, a news website, on July 16 released an analysis by Seyyed Farid Haji Seyyed Javadi on how to critique the nuclear deal Iran and six world powers inked after almost two years of intense negotiations and what is necessary for such critiques. The following is the translation of the analysis in its entirety:

Ever since Iran and P5+1struck a historic deal on July 14, its critics and defenders have opened up discussions about and carried out analyses of the text of the nuclear deal. The extension and complexity of the text of the deal provides parties to such discussions with multiple opportunities to critically analyze the landmark deal [and support their own interpretation and challenge that of the other side]. This is also a good opportunity for Iranian society to experience how to contemplate and judge international documents.

The fact remains that the deal’s objective achievements, not its legal provisions, will form our judgment about the agreement down the line. A look at Resolution 598, for instance, shows that although it entailed an article on international cooperation for reconstruction of the places damaged during the [Iran-Iraq] war, it was practically ineffective [on that front].

[Article Seven recognizes the magnitude of the damage inflicted during the conflict and the need for reconstruction efforts, with appropriate international assistance, once the conflict is ended and, in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to assign a team of experts to study the question of reconstruction and to report to the Security Council.]

However, another article – which revolves around the identification of the party which had to be held accountable for the hostility [the war] – has met Iran’s demand thanks to the atmosphere which prevailed in the world following Saddam’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

[Article Six requests the Secretary-General to explore, in consultation with Iran and Iraq, the question of entrusting an impartial body with inquiring into responsibility for the conflict and to report to the Security Council as soon as possible.]

The deal clinched in Vienna too will undergo many changes in its implementation phase thanks to the numerous details it contains. That’s why what will matter for Iran over time will be the objective achievements and genuine outcomes of the nuclear deal. If this deal can take Iran’s economic relations on the world stage to where they were eight years ago and reaffirm the country’s right to enrichment, its direct results will be welcomed and approved of by people.

The critics of the deal here at home are mostly concerned about what might happen beyond the clear-cut provisions of the deal. If the deal instills into society the mentality that there is no way to stand up to imperialism and that we have to cooperate with it, it will definitely betray the anti-imperialism principle of the Islamic Revolution.

Provision of a legal or political review of the nuclear deal is not an appropriate way to deal with such mentality. What forms the frame of mind in society about this deal, in the long and middle run, is the behavior the West, led by the United States, will display in the future.

Any focus on distinction between a legal review – which takes into account the provisions of the deal – and the real impacts of the deal on society’s political culture can affect the evaluation and critique of the nuclear deal, one way or another. For instance, the parties to the deal are not expected to act on their end of the bargain simultaneously and this could be viewed, from a legal angle, as a concession granted to the West. Nonetheless, the Western side’s possible failure to honor its commitments will boost and cement national distrust in the US and the West, by and large.

Therefore, building on the red lines – which have been previously defined to critically analyze the deal – should not lead to stereotyping. The logic and wisdom tapped in setting those red lines should be highlighted and included in the content of the critiques. If so, the audience of those critiques [a reference to people] can evaluate the West’s behavior through objective standards.

To that end, concentration on the parts [of the deal] which have no tangible, objective effects will be useless. For example, the line between suspension and lifting [of sanctions] remains blurred in practice, because such a distinction has no objective and palpable effect. However, a delay in removing the financial and banking obstacles will be understandable [by people].

Any critique made public should be proportional with people’s mentality and their sensitivities. Instead of focusing on the legal connotation of the words [and phrases in the deal], the critiques should underline the deal’s outcome for the public.

It would be a good idea for symbolic key words to be identified so that people can use them as a yardstick to judge the behavior of the Western side. For instance, the term “back out” – which [Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran] Ali Akbar Salehi used in one of his interviews – was much more effective than over hundreds of pages of detailed critiques.

Those critics who are concerned about the [possible] losses and harms resulting from the bad implementation of the nuclear deal should find the main aspects by which they can critically analyze the West’s behavior as far as the implementation of the deal is concerned and establish criteria for such analyses.

These critics are expected to speak [their mind] according to the mental values and assumptions of the general public and set aside personal and collective attitudes. With that being the case, the West’s failure to make good on its promises, its obstructionist measures and strictness when it comes to the implementation of the nuclear deal will confirm the critics’ cynicism.

However, if the critics confine their analyses to the literature and provisions of the nuclear deal, they will pull in a limited audience.

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