Iran and US’ Common Need to Negotiate

02 June 2014 | 22:27 Code : 1933741 Interview General category
An interview with Alireza Davari, a university professor and expert on international affairs
Iran and US’ Common Need to Negotiate

There have been reports that the US is attempting to marginalize the role of the other members of the P5+1, particularly the Europeans, in the nuclear negotiations. Would you agree with such an analysis?

Apart from Russia’s viewpoint, the US is usually responsible for directing nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the P5+1. The US is in charge of managing the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and in this process the Europeans only work as US pawns. The strategic path of the US is to be able to dictate its policies to the European Union. Even Russia does not oppose this issue. This is a special type of diplomacy management which the US pursues. I believe that if we take out the US from this group, any agreement between Iran and the P5+1 would mean nothing. In these negotiations, the US is the main weight. One can never assume that the presence of the US in these negotiations is similar to that of the three European countries. Most of the issues of the nuclear dossier are related to the US. Although there is a negotiating team called the P5+1, the US acts as an independent state.

I have previously written in an article that the European countries act as the backyard of the US. The same is true for Iran’s nuclear issue.  If we ignore this assumption, I feel that we would be deviated from the right path. If you notice, you would see that the greatest number of statements made with regard to the nuclear negotiations are made by the US and not France, Germany or Britain. I believe that the trend of negotiations is good. Face-to-face negotiations between representatives from Iran and the US could be positive for us in the future.

It seems that Obama is pursuing a policy of 100% success in nuclear negotiations with Iran. What is the role of the Zionist lobby in this regard? Could the White House contain these radicalist movements?

Following the election of Mr. Rohani and his policy of prudence and hope in Iran’s foreign policy, interaction, instead of confrontation and verbal attacks, became institutionalized in our foreign policy. Iran’s foreign policy had derailed from its natural path during the past eight years. There was an important point in the campaign slogans of Mr. Rohani: interaction with the world community. On this basis, our foreign policy is supposed to prefer interaction over any other approach. The special event that took place was that the Obama administration pursued this point with sensitivity. A Zionist lobby does exist in the US. The existing three percent dictates more than 70% of US foreign policy. Nevertheless, the US is not at the service of Israel’s objectives. Their main interests, whether in the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, are the establishment of a security axis based on its own interests. I believe that we must just let Israel continue its verbal war in its foreign policy and nothing else. The US insists on the success of nuclear negotiations and intends to gain a positive outcome from these negotiations. Iran also makes great efforts to have an outcome as well. The conditions are prepared and the layer of confidence-building has opened up and we must wait. Sometimes certain statements are made but the US does not direct all of its national interests towards Israel and they have other concerns. Barack Obama has reiterated several times that the US is optimistic about the success of negotiations with Iran and pursues this matter as one of its policies.

The European Parliament elections were held and the presence of radical right-wing forces is significant. It is believed that if Mrs. Ashton is removed from her post and another person from the EU replaces her, it may seem possible that, considering the probable change in the EU’s approach, the nuclear negotiations would be overshadowed. What policy would the US pursue to align the EU with itself?

Europe relies on the US in its foreign policy. I agree that the astonishing and unexpected victory of the radical right-wing and leftists who oppose the EU in the parliamentary elections is an warning for these countries and the structure of this union, but we must not assume that the scope of domination of the result of these elections would only cover Iran. A series of policies have been adopted by the European Union and their policy today is face-to-face talks with Iran. Javier Solana was in charge of this post before Mrs. Ashton. He was very optimistic about the negotiations and visited Iran several times.

I believe that the entrance of feminist parties and radical or right-wing democrats is an alarm for the vitality of the European Union. A majority of those who won in the elections were those who oppose the EU on many issues. In the feminist and xenophobic party of Sweden, the new representatives do not agree with the policies that are adopted in the parliament. In Britain, the rightists who have won the election oppose the future presence of Britain in the EU. The components are different in each country. I believe that the difference that has been created and forced the EU leaders to react is that the future of the European Union is a special union in its general terms. This issue will not affect the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 because the trend of negotiations is a natural issue today and is leading towards a positive result. The point is that aside from the pessimistic view against the P5+1 issues, today, more than ever before, reaching a nuclear understanding is approved by all groups, members and different ideologies both in the US and in Europe. We must not forget that interaction has become a basis in the P5+1 negotiations and must be reiterated. Dialogue with Iran is approved by all groups, members and different ideologies of the European Union. The victory of the rightists, the spread of feminist ideas in some European countries and the emergence of optimalizing democrats will not create the pressure needed to destroy the negotiations. Perhaps these events may somewhat strengthen the index of power of sustainability in the talks. The basic point which is insisted upon by both the EU and the P5+1 and Iran is that the nuclear negotiations must bear fruit. A positive outcome is legitimate for both countries and if it is not achieved, this will certainly be a lack of legitimacy for their foreign policy.

Therefore, do you think that Iran’s policy in bilateral meetings on the sidelines of negotiations with the P5+1 is, in fact, a path for further negotiations with the US? Despite the three decades of hostility between these two countries, are they bound to reach an understanding with each other?

The main party in the negotiations against us is the US. If we do not succeed in reaching an agreement with the US, nothing will happen in the nuclear negotiations. Whenever Iran continues negotiations with the P5+1 in Austria, Switzerland or Turkey, it always holds private meetings with the US officials. This issue shows that Iran, like the US, is well aware of the significance of bilateral negotiations. During the past several years, the US has been constantly present in the Middle East, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it will be faced with numerous problems in the future created by the Takfiri movements. Therefore, the US is bound to open a place for Iran in its foreign policy as we are bound to regard the US in drawing our foreign policy and doctrines.

I can explicitly say that the major players of the recent developments in the region, regardless of their different outlooks, are Iran and the US. The foreign policy challenge of the US is balancing its strategic resources and aligning it with the biggest country of the region. The same conditions are true for Iran. Iran must also make greater efforts to negotiate with the US. The issue is national interests and there is no room for rhetoric and excitement-based statements. Both Iran and the US have entered an arena wherein they intend to talk and reach an outcome. Do not ever think that Russia and China are countries which intend to independently take positions against the US. These two countries gave their positive votes to the resolution which was adopted against Iran with regard to the nuclear issues by the UN Security Council.

The national interests of Iran and the US would be achieved by having more positive outlooks with regard to each other and resolving complex problems through bilateral negotiations. It is through this change in outlook that the correct path in nuclear developments would be created. It can be predicted that the normalization of relations between Iran and the US would realistically be difficult. But you should remember that this is a priority for both the US and Iran.

Of course, Europe does not like to be introduced as a follower of the US’ policies in the public opinion of the world.

This is politics. Look at the reality. The European Union is an independent organization but all of them sit at a table within the framework of a military pact – NATO. I explicitly say that the EU does not consider itself apart from the US. They may have economic contradictions but look at the issue of Ukraine. When the US takes a position, which European country opposes it?

But the EU may consider new policies in the future.

The basis of their task will not change in the new team. One of the countries which usually had a different outlook than the US in Iraq’s nuclear issue was France and Mr. Chirac. But today France is in line with the US. I can explicitly state that Europe is the US’ backyard from a security perspective.

tags: iran US EU nuclear