Monday, November 28, 2022

Iran nuclear deal; to sign or not to sign (PART TWO)

Fararu, a news website, has asked for experts’ view: What happens if a nuclear deal is not inked?

Will Iran and P5+1 ink a final deal? This question has overshadowed Iran’s domestic, foreign, economic and social policies in the past couple of years. The country is waiting to see the results of the talks before it can make crucial decisions on different fronts. With the talks entering a critical stage, some political experts are concerned that the breakdown of nuclear talks will come with dire consequences in different sectors. The concern stems from the fact that public opinion expects nothing less than settlement of the nuclear case.

Fararu on June 1 asked experts about the talks, their upshot and public expectations. The Second Part (First Part) focuses on the views of Ali Tajernia, a reformist political expert. The following is the translation of his remarks:

Downward trend of Iran’s economy and domestic policy

We need to assume that a nuclear deal is achievable. The Iranian and US governments and nations have come to the conclusion that their strained relations over the past 35-plus years have earned the two sides nothing.

They [their troubled relations] have simply served the purpose of marginal countries. Israel, for instance, has taken advantage of its close ties with the US, and countries like China and Russia have served their own interests by upgrading their economic ties in the region. Thus we need to act based on the collective will in Iran and the US and be hopeful that the nuclear deal is within reach.

If nuclear talks fail to produce the intended result, we should wait to see Iran’s economic bankruptcy slope steeply. Now we have learnt that remarks describing [a global decision on imposing] sanctions as a “worthless piece of paper” [a reference to remarks by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who mocked UN Security Council sanctions against Iran as pieces of paper of no value] were inappropriate and that sanctions have affected the national economy, one way or another.

Here I do not want to tie the settlement of the country’s economic problems to [the lifting of] sanctions against Iran. We need to accept that rent-seeking has grown in the sanctions-hit economy. We have also gotten accustomed to a tight atmosphere because we think we should always remain in a state of war.

The inconclusiveness of the talks will see Iran continue the policies it has pursued over the years, albeit worse than before. The situation will go from bad to worse because the country’s social and human capabilities are depleting. Phenomena like brain drain are the result of the gap between people and government. Talks, which produce no deal, will cause Iran’s economy and domestic policies to take a downward trend.

The nuclear case should not be linked to domestic issues. There is no denying the fact that the government’s main concern is people’s pocketbook issues which are related to the nuclear case and sanctions. It is clear that government will find enough time to solve domestic problems when its main concern is removed.

The president’s recent remarks are indicative of the government’s sound strategy on and close attention to domestic policies. They also show that government pays undivided attention to domestic issues, whether a nuclear deal is cut or not.

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