Iran Deal Unfinished Global Business

Iran Deal Unfinished Global BusinessIran Deal Unfinished Global Business

A former European Union official said the West has a "unique window of opportunity" to strike a nuclear deal with Iran, noting that concluding the deal remains an "unfinished item of global business."     

Javier Solana, a former European Union foreign policy chief (1999-2009), said, "The West has a unique window of opportunity. Achieving a deal is essential to avoid a new – and potentially catastrophic – conflict in the Middle East. Negotiation and diplomacy are the only way to resolve the Iranian nuclear question in the long term and to normalize Iran’s critical role in regional security."

The comments by Solana appeared on Project Syndicate, a New York-based scholarly website which focuses on topics including global affairs, economics, finance, and development, on Saturday.      

In the article entitled "November’s Diplomatic Harvest", the former official, who himself was involved in nuclear talks between Iran and Britain, France and Germany in 2004, wrote that the atmosphere of the current talks are "positive", adding, "Iran fulfilled its obligations under last year’s interim agreement, and the E3+3 (also known the P5+1) showed a willingness to end sanctions."

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) held a last-minute round of talks in Vienna from November 18 to 24, but failed for a second time this year to meet a target date to reach a long-term settlement to the 12-year dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. The parties agreed to extend the talks for seven more months until June 30, 2015.    

Based on the agreement, an interim deal they reached in Geneva last year will remain in place, under which Tehran will receive 700 million dollars of its frozen funds held abroad per month until next July.  

Solana was among a group of seven former and current European officials who had signed a letter in early November, in which they urged the major powers and Iran to do their best to reach a compressive deal on Tehran's nuclear program by the missed November 24 deadline.  

Meanwhile, Ambassador to France Ali Ahani said the parties involved in the nuclear negotiations have made "good progress" over the past months, adding that the extension of the negotiations does not mean a failure.

The Iranian negotiators narrowed differences with their international negotiating partners on key issues, including Iran's capacity to enrich uranium, the number of centrifuges and the timeline for lifting sanctions, Ahani said in an interview with the French L'Opinion daily which was published on Friday,

The West has claimed that Iran may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran denies the allegation, saying its nuclear work is meant only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.   

Ahani reiterated that Iran will not relinquish its nuclear rights which are recognized for all signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  

Under the NPT, member states have the right to access nuclear energy for peaceful applications and enrich uranium for this purpose.  

The envoy added that there are certain groups in the Middle East region who are trying to impede the talks by spreading baseless propaganda against Iran’s nuclear energy program.

 ***Missed Opportunity for Europe


"The EU has failed to capitalize on the interim deal with Iran due to the threats of punishments by the US Treasury Department against European companies. European banks and governments have proved that they lack the courage to seek the implementation of the interim deal. Nevertheless, the US is preparing the ground for US automakers, farm industry as well as major plane manufactures to do business with Iran," Ahani commented.

"Boeing has sold aircraft parts for Iran's aircraft fleet and is looking to sell airplanes to Iran."

The American company announced in October that it had sold aircraft-related goods to Iran Air in the third quarter, marking the first acknowledged dealings between US aerospace companies and Iran in over three decades, Reuters reported.  

The deal came as part of the Geneva agreement, under which Tehran agreed to temporarily scale down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions, including an embargo on the sale of spare parts for commercial aircraft to Iran.