Deal, What Deal?

 

The United States and its Western allies’ hypocrisy and bullying tactics in relating with weaker or smaller nations have once again been laid bare.

The November 24 interim agreement which the world powers reached with Iran on its nuclear programme just goes to show the extent to which the West bullies weaker nations. In pursuit of their selfish ends and their unilateralism policy, the Western powers will stop at nothing to impose their will on other nations to safeguard their interests.

On November 24, the Western powers and Tehran reached an interim agreement, which will be in force for six months during which the signatories to the pact hope to reach a more comprehensive and long-term deal.

However, a closer analysis of the November 24 agreement shows that it imposes huge limitations on Iran’s nuclear programme in return for minor relief on the crippling sanctions imposed on Tehran.

One would have thought that since international relations are premised on the principle of equality in negotiations, Iran should also have had the mammoth burden of sanctions removed from its shoulders.

According to media reports, the deal allows Iran to continue enriching uranium to 5 percent purity, used as fuel for its power generating nuclear reactor. 

However, Tehran will not be allowed to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity, used for medical isotopes, and will be required to relinquish its stockpile within six months. 

Washington and its allies accuse Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons programme and view the 20 percent enriched uranium as dangerously close to nuclear bomb material even though enrichment levels should be up to 97 percent to make nuclear bombs. Furthermore, Iran will permit unrestricted access by United Nations inspectors to its nuclear sites.

In exchange, while the US-imposed sanctions will remain in place, there will be US$7 billion sanctions relief and a promise of no new sanctions for six months. 

The US$7 billion sanctions relief is essentially the unfreezing of Iran’s own assets in international financial institutions, part of an estimated US$100-US$120 billion that have been frozen and will continue to be “inaccessible and restricted”.

Surely, given the big concessions made by Iran wouldn’t it have been reasonable to at least unfreeze half of the US$120 billion that Tehran is not able to make use of at a time when its economy is weighed down by the sanctions.

The weight of the imperialists’ alliance was brought down on Tehran, which obviously gave in to at least have the shackles around its economy loosened a bit.

As Mazda Majidi writes in an opinion we carry today:

“The agreement should not be confused with a fair deal that observes the interests of both sides. Diplomacy in general, and this agreement in particular, occurs within the context of power relations. 

How could it be called justice when nuclear-armed nations impose sanctions and harsh conditions on a country that has no nuclear weapons, nor any stated or documented plan to have such weapons? 

This is not a negotiation between two comparable adversaries working on the terms of future relations and trade.  Iran could do nothing to the imperialist alliance that is lined up against it. 

But the US and its junior partners have imposed extreme hardship on the Iranian people, essentially locking Iran out of international trade. So, in effect, Iran has to negotiate with a gun to its head.”

Parallels can be drawn between the Iran issue and the Zimbabwean sanctions matter. Both embargoes were imposed as part of a broader regime change agendas. 

The Western powers’ idea was to make the economies of Iran and Zimbabwe scream so that the peoples of the two countries revolt against their own governments. 

The same is true in Cuba and more than a dozen other countries perceived as threats to Western interests. 

The Iran nuclear deal, among many other issues, justifies the reform of the United Nations to give smaller nations an equal say in international affairs.

December 2013
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