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Is the Crisis with Iran Over? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The agreement announced on Monday between Iran, Turkey and Brazil in Tehran did not reassure the international community inasmuch as it raised doubts. The announcement that Iran intends to send 1200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for receiving 120 kilograms of fuel enriched to the 20 percent required for activating nuclear research reactors in Tehran within a one-year timeframe demonstrated the large extent to which there is an international lack of trust in the Iranian regime.

The United Nations called on Iran to comply with international resolutions. America said there “continue to be serious concerns,” and Europe stated that it “has not removed all concerns,” whilst France said, “Let’s not deceive ourselves, a solution to the issue of (the Iranian civilian nuclear reactor), if that’s the case, does not settle the problem posed by Iran’s nuclear program.” What is required is an agreement between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], not a bilateral agreement between Tehran and Turkey, or Tehran and Brazil.

Similarly, Britain called for continuing to work towards issuing new international sanctions; Germany said, “It of course remains important that Iran and the IAEA reach an accord,” and the Russian president said that questions remain over the matter of the nuclear fuel swap agreement and there are many more examples. All of this adds to the fact that there is a vast gap between the international community and Iran, and this is symbolized in the lack of trust in Tehran, which seems to be playing a game of embarrassing the international community. This might explain why most of the international reactions [to the deal] were sceptical and cautious, as the West does not want to fall into the Iranian trap. A Western diplomat told the news agencies: “The Iranian proposal does not meet the goal set by the IAEA…the West’s rejection of the proposal will be sensitive politically-speaking because it was signed by Brazil and Turkey, the two influential countries that Iran succeeded at winning over.” What further supports this is the statement made by a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry that said on Monday that the “ball is in their court” in reference to the international community!

In order to understand why there is a lack of international trust in Tehran, we should remember that the Iranians spent nearly nine months away from the surveillance of the IAEA, and no one knows what happened during that period. Therefore it seems that the announced agreement in Tehran on Monday was a tactical one aimed at serving Iranian goals including buying time in order to delay the opportunity to impose new sanctions, divide the ranks of the international community, and attempt to evade the IAEA.

The irony here is that there is no doubt internationally about Iran’s nuclear intentions; in fact there are some inside Iran who see that the Tehran regime offered concessions out of fear of the threat of sanctions, and there is more, as a political analyst from Iran told news agencies, “the shadow of sanctions and the renewal of the international isolation are heavier than the Iranian government tried to show on the inside.” This might explain the predicament of the Iranian regime between a sceptical exterior and resentful interior.

Therefore, it is hard to believe that the announced agreement in Iran is the beginning of the end of the crisis, as we must always remember that Iranian political dissimulation has no boundaries.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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