Barack Obama and Co. have achieved something no one thought was ever going to happen. Sitting down with representatives from Iran and hammering out a nuclear deal was in the very recent past considered an impossibility taking into consideration the close ties between Israel and USA and a relationship that can be called caustic at best between the United States and Iran. When Ahmadinejad was at the helm, Iran spent vast amount of time in angry rhetoric and the US spent far too much time engaging with it. Hassan Rouhani though has done exceptionally well, negotiating a deal that does not close down the Iranian Nuclear programme, which was the initial aim of the joint sanctions placed on them by the United States and the European Union.
The Agreement in Lausanne last week is, of course, subject to another round of negotiations to be held to finalise the comprehensive draft by the 30th of June and a lot can change from now till then. But till then we can
mope around and look for a new source of entertainment in international relations be happy about the fact that another chapter that threatened to divide the world and lead to the situation in the Middle East spiralling out of control has almost come to an end. The involved parties at Lausanne, namely USA, Iran, the rest of the P5, the EU and Germany did come out with the a joint statement which laid down the key points of agreement. Iran has managed to keep Natanz up and running (shocking, considering the number of centrifuges present and their continued ability to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale). What is all the more interesting though is the United States’ concession to not have their own inspectors at Natanz, Bushehr and Darkhovin (must have something to do with not wanting to piss off Russia, considering the reactors are made by Rosatom and others) and rather allow IAEA inspectors instead. Finally, Fordow, a facility suspected to be capable of producing weapons grade uranium has been converted into a research centre.
A sticking point still exists about the number of centrifuges that will be allowed at the facilities, with Iran pushing for numbers in excess of hundred thousands, whereas the West wanting to restrict to a few. Moreover, the Iranian delegation ended by promising not to agree to a deal that would harm national interest and even saying that the failure of a nuclear deal would not bring the world crashing down.
It is the deal the world wanted, but is this the one the world needed? 30th June 2015 holds the answers to that question.