Self-Restraint Requisite for Successful Implementation of Geneva Agreement
Negative reactions shown by certain domestic political currents to new sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States come at a time that self-restraint is the most important element that should be taken into account when assessing the United States’ approach to Geneva agreement. This means, when analyzing the West’s positions on the nuclear deal with Iran, one should avoid hasty judgments and decisions. Only in this way, it would be possible to transfer to the audience a correct analysis and understanding of the obligations that arise from the agreement for both sides. This is true as emotional reactions shown in the face of political developments that are single instances, and generalizing those reactions to the entirety of a political case, will only lead to the emergence of reactions and judgments that have nothing to do with the reality. This is especially the case now that the Israel is doing its utmost to obstruct the implementation of the Geneva nuclear deal [between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers].
Before the Geneva agreement was concluded, Israeli officials in Tel Aviv were trying to prevent the negotiating sides from reaching that agreement. Since the agreement was inked successfully, the Israeli officials have been sparing no effort to abort the agreement and prevent its implementation.
We must analyze the entire process under logical conditions in order to exactly know what reactions we ought to show to recent developments. We must also know when to show those reactions and on the basis of what reason(s). At the same time, we must be smart enough not to justify incorrect positions adopted by the United States while keeping abreast of their every measure and plan. That is, we must know whether there is a well-calculated plan and tactic behind the apparent differences between the White House and the US Department of the Treasury, or their differences are genuine. New sanctions imposed by the US Department of the Treasury on certain entities after the conclusion of the Geneva agreement on the pretext of being related to Iran's nuclear energy program came after serious exchange of political fire which showed profound differences that existed between the US Congress and the White House.
This state of affairs clearly shows that in addition to the existence of deep gaps between the US administration and Congress over the future course of anti-Iran sanctions, there are also internal divides over this issue among various ranks of the administration. This is why positions taken by the US Secretary of State John Kerry with regard to Iran sanctions are totally different from those adopted by the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Department of the Treasury David S. Cohen. Such differences were also reflected in a statement issued by Treasury Secretary [Jacob Lew]. They [Treasury officials] allege that the new sanctions only affect those entities that have violated the past sanctions. As a result, no new sanctions have been imposed on Iran.
Therefore, it seems that such differences are genuine because various American officials lack a common understanding of the Geneva agreement. Since the White House has not succeeded in imposing its own views on the Congress yet, the Congress is still under heavy influence of the Israelis. Therefore, we must deal with these developments in a logical and diplomatic manner while trying to consolidate national unity inside the country. Some people think that they can treat this agreement in such a way that as if it is a repetition of the [humiliating] Turkmenchai Treaty [which was signed between Iran and Tsarist Russia according to which Russia separated some northwestern parts of Iran from the country]. On the contrary, this is just an interim agreement which is only of value from a political viewpoint and does not have any legal aspect. Therefore, it should be considered in suitable depth and in the way it is because the world’s big powers are behind the signatures of their foreign ministers under this agreement. This, per se, is a great achievement for Iran which should not be easily ignored.
On the other hand, in view of the existing conflicts between the US administration and Congress, it is for [US President Barack] Obama to solve this problem. It is a reality that imposing new sanctions on Iran is against the letter and spirit of the Geneva agreement because according to that agreement, the West was obligated to stop imposing new sanctions against Iran in order to build confidence with the Islamic Republic.
*A researcher, documentary producer, and expert on nuclear issues, Hassan Beheshtipour received his BA in Trade Economics from Tehran University. His research topics span from US and Russian foreign policy to the Ukrainian Orange Revolution.
Key Words: Self-Restraint, Geneva Agreement, Negative Reactions, P5+1 Group, Sanctions, US administration, Congress, Beheshtipour