Iran’s Nuclear Anniversary

Published: July 21, 2016 - 16:28

Shubhda Choudhary Delhi

A year after signing the historic nuclear deal, Iran is still struggling. The deal, which many say, is still fragile, altered the geo-politics of West Asia, aligning Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel. It is still doubtful if Barack Obama’s successor would treat Iran as America’s ‘natural ally’ and uphold the nuclear deal in good faith. All said and done, Tehran would be keen on protecting the deal.

What matters today is definitely the fact that Iran’s nuclear deal has completed a year! Just like any anniversary, the symbolic meaning attained by this occurrence is more tantamount, revealing that yes; the deal made through stormy waters, through all the vilification and ratification and gained a concrete identity in itself. But is there any basis, in reality, to think that this deal, popularly called as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is still very fragile?

Well, there are reasons for saying so. To start with, both in Tehran and Washington DC, there are domestic forces which do not want this deal to materialise and hence, have issues reconciling with it. After all, one can lead the horse to the trough but one can’t force it to drink water!

What comes as a surprise and sheer obstinacy is the recent legislation passed in the US House of Representatives to stop the 25 billion dollar Boeing deal which involved selling aircrafts to Iran. President Obama has already stated, quite shrewdly and in time, that he would veto it.

How can we ignore the serious determination of the US lawmakers to curb the deal, through any reason, under any pretext?

On the other hand, Iran is complying with its commitments. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has acknowledged that Iran has started dismantling its nuclear programs. It has also stopped the shipment of uranium stockpile, which was initially under process, to Russia.

Also, with the lifting of the EU and UN Sanctions against Iran, now it can act braver and be a part of the global and financial international markets. However, Iran does complain, slowly and softly, that the imagined economic boom did not take place. There are three concrete reasons for it:

Firstly, US Dollars in any kind of transaction with Iran cannot be used because the American sanctions have not been lifted, yet. These sanctions deal with issues which are non-nuclear, such as the human rights record of Iran and its regional policies. Thus, it does come as a major setback.

Secondly, western banks which have had their own range of struggles and tussles with US Treasury Department, do not want to invest in Iran. Once bitten, twice shy! Though, John Kerry, the Secretary of State is working around to erase these inhibitions, it is going to be a long and tedious process.

Thirdly and most importantly, Iran too has to adapt to the current investor’s sentiments and accordingly make its own domestic market flexible and attractive enough for investments. Building the investor’s confidence is very necessary and Iran is definitely finding it hard to do so.  The autarchic mentality needs to be dealt with and Iran needs to embrace a veritable cultural revolution.

Nevertheless, a big leap of faith would help Iran and a more adamant and persistent leadership would bear results, quite sooner, especially when the bigger picture is taken into account. Till then, a happy nuclear anniversary to Iran!