tangible results needed

tangible results neededtangible results needed

When President Hassan Rohani took office, he changed Iran’s strategy towards the West. He is of the conviction that no country can progress without constructive cooperation with the rest of the world. He therefore set out to build new bridges with nations in the West previously ignored by the former government. This policy has nevertheless come at a great cost to the government.  Although some of the most influential conservatives support the current nuclear talks, others deny the benefits of the president’s policies. They point to its failings in an effort to sway the conservatives to put pressure on Rouhani.

Political opponents have a lot of evidence showing  the more cooperative relations with the West have not been successful and point out that steps Iran has taken to clarify its nuclear program based on the Geneva agreement have only resulted in more Iranian companies being sanctioned, with no easing either of banking  relations.  Many international banks afraid to inadvertently fall in violation of the complex sanctions do not wish to participate in any transactions with Iran, not even legal transactions.

The opponents may be right. Little has shifted since the Geneva agreement was signed; a fact that might eventually convince influential people in Iran to prevent President Rouhani to continue with his foreign policy. This will not be good for Iranians and neither of course will it be for western countries.  

Western governments should allow Iran to see some improvements coming out of the new foreign policy if they do not want to see any pullback in the relationship with Iran.  

The more benefits felt by Iran, the more likely it will be to take steps towards the West. It is wrong to assume that Iran will sign a permanent nuclear deal under pressure and under circumstances where it is unlikely to get any advantage from an interim agreement.

An agreement could be signed if both sides show empathy toward one another.  

For now at least, the Iranian government will continue to resist against its more radical critics and will continue on its foreign policy course, but since the interim agreements have not had tangible results for Iran’s economy, it is very hard to see how the government can implement its foreign policy as it did a year ago.

If the P5+1 really wants to make certain that Iran’s nuclear program is indeed a peaceful one and want Iran to accept the nuclear deal, they should allow Iran to take maximum advantage of the interim agreement.

The more economic progress the current agreement brings, the more probability will exist that Iran will sign a permanent agreement. Moving towards the West has been very costly for Mr. Rouhani’s government. Western politicians could mitigate this to avoid further tensions in the Middle East.