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Negotiation with the United States is vital for our country

Dr. Mehdi Noorbakhsh

Professor of International Relations, University of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Iran's talks in Vienna with the P5 + 1 are moving slowly, but there are hopes that the group will be able to reach a favorable conclusion on the country's nuclear program in the first place. Iran has not yet sat directly at the negotiating table with the United States, but negotiations are still ongoing.


Both Iran and the United States have moved away from their initial positions, each of which initially wanted the other to return to the JCPOA. What is clear now is that the Action for Action plan is the strategy of choice for advancing the negotiations. Iran is facing 1700 sanctions plans, which will eventually have to enter into extensive and comprehensive negotiations with the United States to lift them.

But what has now become clear is that Iran and the United States must negotiate, especially to lift the sanctions that the Trump administration has imposed on Iran under the guise of "terrorism." The Biden administration faces two major problems in US politics that undoubtedly affect negotiations with Iran. First; American society has become highly polarized since Trump's four years in office, and the Biden administration should do its utmost to ensure that its policies do not help the same atmosphere inside the United States. Second; All Republicans and a number of Democrats want any negotiations with Iran to be comprehensive. They support the Biden administration's negotiations with Iran when these negotiations address all of the US problems with Iran within the Middle East.

What has become clear now, especially after Mr. Zarif's interview, is that Russia still wants the rifts and differences between Iran and the West not to be repaired so that, firstly, Iran will not be able to build its economy on a solid foundation, and secondly; The differences between Iran and the West allow Russia to make the best use of the Iran Card in its disputes with the West. In the case of China, we see a different situation in relation to Iran. The Chinese, because of their economic reliance on the West and the United States, as well as the need for foreign exports and investment within their own country, want the Middle East region relieved of tensions between its neighbors so that they can increase trade with countries within the Persian Gulf. The Chinese have so far not taken any special action against Iran's interests in the region, but the Russians, in addition to being Iran energy rivals in the world and plotting with Saudi Arabia to strike at Iran interests during the US sanctions, have allied with the Israeli government in Syria. They have to reduce Iran's hard influence in this country. Putin has been a close friend of Trump, and during his four years as president, his personal relationship with Trump and Netanyahu has been strong. So when it comes to negotiations between Iran and the United States, we have to make a big difference between China and Russia dealing with these negotiations.

But why, more than four decades after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, today negotiations with the United States are necessary and vital not only for Iran, but also the chance to solve problems between the two countries with results that enrich both sides more than ever after the Clinton and Khatami is very high. This time, these negotiations may be the last chance for our country to establish a reasonable relationship while maintaining its interests with European countries and the United States. If the negotiations between Iran and the United States do not reach a satisfactory result this time, the chances of finding such an opportunity in the future seem very unlikely. Iran and the United States have only less than two years, that is, until 2023, to reach a lasting understanding, otherwise the US Congress will intervene in this process and it will be the end of the JCPOA or any other negotiation between the two countries.

But why It needs to be serious about negotiating with the United States:

1. The Biden administration has more credibility both in American society and internationally than the Democratic and Republican administrations before it, so that if it achieves win-win negotiations with Iran, it will be able to attract support from the educated community, political elites and even some groups and individuals within Republican Party. This support means that any agreement with Iran will be approved by the US Congress to be treated as a law. European countries will continue to support Biden's administration in this difficult path, as he has maintained both his personal reputation as a credible politician and his last position as Obama's Vice President made him a great importance. European countries have experienced the best history of their relations with the United States under Obama Administration. The Biden administration's foreign policy team is neither Iranophobic nor Islamophobic, as it was under the Trump administration, so Iran should take this opportunity seriously to resolve its problems with the West.

2. Without negotiation and solving problems between the two countries, the volume of Iran's economic crises will increase, and finally, its destructive effects, which have manifested themselves in various forms, will increase the people's distrust of the government and the system, and will make deeper gaps between the government and the people which will eventually lead to social unrest. The economic collapse of the country will turn into great political crises, which will face great threats to the country and its political security, both internally and externally. No government can rule without the support of the people, and the support of the people for any government will depend on the efforts of that government to create a growing, reliable and good economy and the social and economic interests of the people. Although governments sometimes try to control social unrest through violence, no government can survive for a long time without the support of the people. The political and economic unexpected situation leads to the brain drain and the outflow of the country's capital and finally to political and social unrest. Therefore, at present, the continuation of negotiations between Iran and the West seems very vital.

3. Without negotiations with the United States, Iran will not be able to improve its relations with neighboring countries in the Middle East. Thanks to our unstable relations with the West and the United States over the past two decades in particular, our neighboring countries have taken advantage of this opportunity to turn from actual enemies into potential enemies. Saudi Arabia, many Arab countries in the region and Israel do not want Iran's problems with the West, especially the United States, to be resolved. In the shadow of these bad relations and the exaggeration of Iran's enmity with them, they seek various US support and military support. These unfavorable relations and sanctions on Iran at the same time do not allow this country to have access to technology and free markets of the world in order to be able to build and organize a competitive global economy. Apart from political competition with Iran, the Israeli government does not want Iran to become a large, dynamic and impressive economy in the Middle East. Therefore, negotiations with the United States to end the enmity of the countries in the region with Iran will be very necessary and a means to improve relations with the Arab countries in the region. As long as we cannot improve our relations with the countries of the region, the United States and Western governments will remain in the region militarily. For two reasons, the Saudi government is now willing to reconsider its relations with Iran. First; The Biden administration is working hard to resolve US problems with Iran, and a good relationship between Iran and the United States is a condition for stabilizing the region. Second; Biden is working hard to solve the Yemeni problem. Iran can play an important role in solving the problem of Yemen. So today, both of them have encouraged Saudi Arabia to agree to mediate Iraq for negotiations and resolving problems between the two countries.

4. Israel's new relations with the Arab countries of the region, and possibly the accession of other countries to such relations, will not remain only at the diplomatic level. The Israelis are considering establishing security plans with the countries of the Persian Gulf region for the region so that they can both sell arms to them and gain more influence in these countries. Any security plan within the region without the presence of Iran is a great threat to this country. If Iran fails to establish better relations with the neighboring countries of the region and, in the shadow of these relations, and fails to achieve security plans for the stability of the Middle East region, it will face two great dangers. The first danger is that Iran's neighbors will look at this country as an enemy, and second, they will encourage Iran to a military competition. In this case, Iran will be forced to allocate large amounts of capital that can be allocated to different sectors of the country's economy to the military industry, which will cause great damage to the country's economy. The former Soviet Union is an example of a country that has failed miserably in this area. One of the reasons China does not want to compete with the United States is precisely because of Russia's past experience in the Cold War. But for the Israelis, the creation of regional security plans will be the first step to pave the way for a common regional economic market, in which it will again cause great damage to Iran's economy. Iran must make every effort to prevent further Israeli influence in the region and to do its utmost to prevent the danger that Israel, with the cooperation of Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries in the region, poses to Iran.

5. The Biden administration, unlike Trump, could easily create a global consensus against Iran if negotiations between the two countries fail. Without creating a global consensus, the Trump administration has made a severe blow to Iran's economy with its "maximum pressure" sanctions. The Chinese government is working hard to reduce tensions in the region for economic use of the region's markets. The Biden administration seeks to resolve US problems with China and put more pressure on Russia. Biden will eventually have no problem gaining the support of the two countries for their policies toward Iran by encouraging China and increasing pressure on Russia. Six UN and its Security Council resolutions is an evidence for cooperation between these two countries and the United States over Iran. The Chinese clearly do not want to confront with US security plans in the region, and Russia, because of its relations with Arab countries and Israel, cannot challenge US regional security plans in the Persian Gulf. In addition, Russia suffers from limited resources and low military power vis-a-vis the West and the United States.

6. Israeli state terrorism in connection with Iran's nuclear program, the latest of which is sabotage of the Natanz facility, assassination of nuclear scientists, theft of documents and espionage in Iran's security institutions should be considered a warning signal for Iran. No country can use terrorism, war and violence in the current international order to exert influence and show its power. Violence and terrorism in any country and by any government must be strongly condemned. No peace-loving person can remain insensitive to acts of terrorism and state violence. If Iran negotiates with the United States and Europe, its hand will be open in international circles to condemn such state terrorism or to defend the rightful rights of the Palestinians or any other homeless people. The Russian and Israeli governments have established an extensive spy network in Iran and are sharing information in this regard. One of the ways to counter this influence is to establish closer relations with the West and to end the problems and gaps between Iran and the Western countries.

Iran is currently in a fragile situation. The hostility of countries like Russia to make Iran's efforts ineffective to solve its problems with the West has been unfold for a group of politicians who thought, it might be a pillar for "looking to the East". On the other hand, the economic situation of the country no longer allows the past way to continue. Finally, today, with the Biden administration in power, both our chances of resolving our problems with the United States and the threat of international consensus building of the new administration in Washington have increased significantly. At present, it is hoped that to the national interests of the country will be given special priority in decision making in Iran and another way and direction will be pursued in our foreign policy.

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