The history of negotiations

The historic negotiations that took place between 6 super-power countries and Iran was in no way a swift road. It did not take just the administrations of Barack Obama and Hasan Rouhani to come to an agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The relationship goes back at least a decade, if not more. The issue with Iran was never about the development of nuclear weapons; that was just one among many strategies employed by the United States and the West to cripple the economy of a country that has been the symbol of resistance against Zionist entity for more almost 40 years. Throughout the process, there have been multiple occasions of double-crossing. In fact, one wonders whether this nuclear agreement is just another façade, that the West has more sinister plans. In this blog, we will highlight a few incidents that led to the negotiations of this year, and point out some flaws and strengths of diplomacy.

The first attempt at negotiations was made in 2003 when the European nations wanted to start negotiations with Iran regarding the uranium program. The United States’ approval was key to these negotiations working; since the fall of Soviet Union, the United States has made it a point to have the final say in any significant deal. The fact that it insisted on having the final say was the first of many signs the Americans’ true intentions regarding Iran – or any other country. When George W Bush, before any talks had been initiated, labelled Iran, along with Iraq and North Korean, as one of the states constituting an “axis of evil”. Bush announced that the only way the so-called world powers will sit together is when Iran agrees to stop the nuclear enrichment program, thereby beginning a method of diplomacy that was destined to fail. Iran has always mentioned that the nuclear program was for energy purposes, not for the nuclear weapons. The conditions Bush set before any negotiations with Iran continued to remain in place during subsequent attempts at negotiations between Iran and P5+1. Iran’s strategic flaw was its best during Mohammad Khatami’s presidency for more than one reason. One of the Khatami administration’s biggest blunders was to state that Iran had a working nuclear program: an announcement that put the West on the defense. The blunt manner in which the Khatami administration announced it nuclear program made it easy for the West to pounce and claim that Iran sought to build a nuclear weapon, even if it wasn’t. There are serious questions regarding Khatami’s motives to state Iran’s ambitions, mainly because it was in indirect contradiction to the Leader’s religious edict – or fatwa – banning the creation, buying, selling, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons. Other attempts at negotiations were made as well, most noticeably in 2009, which failed once again because the United States refused to track back on Bush’s pre-condition to negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

While some Iranians, and – Europeans and Americans – are congratulating each other on the conclusion of nuclear talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran, under the watchful eye of the Leader of the Islamic ummah, has not forgotten that the United States, given its military power, has a history of double-crossing other nations without being held to account. As a result, Jawad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and top negotiator, said that he would not trust the Americans until everything was written on paper, and until that happened, there would be no deal. Zarif also mentioned an interesting point after the negotiations. He said that after the negotiations, he had realized that the United States “is not a world power anymore”, made evident by their desperation to make a deal with Iran, its most fierce enemy, and a nation that underimined American hegemony in West Asia and the rest of world since the Islamic revolution in 1979.