Deal on Iranian nuclear programme: Diplomacy at work

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
© Carlos Barria
July 14 marked the end of a negotiating marathon in pursuit of a final settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

It is worth mentioning that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action adopted by international mediators and Iran is based on the step-by-step approach. This follows the principle of reciprocity put forward by Russia, as well as President Vladimir Putin’s formula: recognition of Iran’s unconditional right to a peaceful nuclear programme, including uranium enrichment under international supervision, the resolution of all IAEA-related issues, and the lifting of all sanctions on Iran.

Tehran has assumed long-term commitments to limit its nuclear programme and place it under strict IAEA supervision. The implementation of these commitments will guarantee the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities and address all relevant concerns reflected in UN Security Council resolutions.

In turn, the P5+1 group pledges to initiate the phased lifting of UN sanctions on Iran. The EU and the United States will also rescind their unilateral sanctions that far exceed the scale of the UN Security Council resolutions. Russia has never recognized their legitimacy and can only welcome this step towards restoring justice in Iran’s relations with Washington and Brussels.

As regards the broader context of what has happened, the comprehensive agreements regarding the Iranian nuclear programme will strengthen the non-proliferation regime and exert a positive influence on security and stability in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf. Importantly, normalising the Iranian issue removes all pretexts for the use of force against that country, which some politicians viewed as a “real alternative” to negotiations.

New opportunities are now opening up for the resolution of many other regional problems and conflicts. Thus, there are additional incentives to move forward on creating a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. The largely artificial obstacles to forming a broad coalition to fight Islamic State and other terrorists groups are being removed.

No doubt, with the Iranian nuclear issue resolved, new prospects will be created for the progressive development of Russian-Iranian relations on a mutually beneficial and long-term basis, including work on major joint projects.
Most importantly, the deal on the Iranian nuclear programme convincingly demonstrates that given political will, realism and respect for each other’s legitimate interests, the international community can resolve the most challenging issues by political and diplomatic means.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.