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February 27, 2018

It is diplomacy that wins

U Khin Maung
(A retired diplomat)
It has been quite a pretty long time that “Iran nuclear programme” has drawn the entire world’s attention. And thus, the entire world has been watching it with great interest, but with a lot of worries and anxieties about this particular news item. Why? Simply because the world is very much anxious about whether Iran will become the latest state with nuclear capability. But, on its side, Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purpose and not for developing nuclear weapons. The world in general, and the International Atomic Energy Agency and six major powers in particular, are doubtful about Iran’s claim. So, the IAEA and six major powers demand Iran to stop its nuclear programme or to accept thorough and unhindered inspection of its nuclear programme by IAEA. The IAEA plays a vital role in monitoring and verifying whether Iran is producing highly enriched uranium for developing nuclear weapons. In this regard, please allow me to present to you that there is a multilateral treaty organized and made by the United Nations. It is known as “Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty”. Iran is not a state party to this treaty.
And six major powers or P5+1 are “five permanent members of UN Security Council: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States of America and Germany. According to news reports, this Iran-nuclear programme deal takes three years of diplomatic efforts, negotiations, compromises, adjustments, wisdom and patience from both sides. As regards this deal, the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani said, “It is a win-win deal for all concerned. And Iran’s supreme leader praised the honest and hard endeavours of negotiating teams. US president Barack Obama said about the deal, “We can no verify Iran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons, when necessary, where necessary. No deal means greater chance of war in the Middle East.”
Iran and six major powers reached a landmark nuclear deal on 14th July 2015, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East. Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and the United Nations would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb. It was learnt that the United Nations Security Council unanimously endorsed this deal.
As regards the agreement, the western diplomats said that under the final agreement Iran had accepted a “snap-back” mechanism, under which some sanctions could be reinstated in 65 days, if Iran violated the deal. And a UN weapons embargo would remain in force for 5 years and a ban on buying missile technology would also remain in force for 8 years. An Iranian diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity, “All the hard work has paid off and we sealed a deal. God bless our people.” However, hostility to the agreement from Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, i.e. Israel was immediate. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu called Iran nuclear deal “historic mistake”. Concerning this deal, Iran’s president Rouhani and US president Barack Obama, both have to win the support for the deal from hardliners at home. In the case of Iran, the deal must get final acceptance from the National Security Council and ultimately from Ayatollah Ali Khameni, Iran’s highest authority. He has withheld final judgment, saying the text must still be scrutinized and approved. As regards the United States, the deal has to be approved and ratified by Congress. And US President Obama said, “No deal means greater chance of war in the Middle East, the stakes are too high. So, I will veto any vote against this deal.”
Through the international media, we come to know that the entire world is pinning all its hope on this deal whether it will be approved by both sides, Iran, and six major world powers. However, up till this stage, we could say that “diplomacy wins”. Why? Simply because, in this particular case, both sides have used the very first and normal method of diplomacy with a general attitude of friendliness and persuasion: the way of polite argument, of approach based on reason and interest. In this way both sides have accepted and adopted, with patience and politeness, with compromises and adjustments and of course, with diplomacy as the first line of defence. So both sides claim with pride and pleasure that it is not the threat or use of force, but it is diplomacy that wins. Well, however, we will have to wait and watch whether the deal will be approved and ratified by the competent authorities of both sides, invested with the power to ratify or reject the international treaty, under their respective constitutions. For this purpose, in the case of the United States, it is Congress and in the case of Iran it is the supreme leader Ayatollah Khameni and the national security council.
Reference:(1)    The Global New Light of Myanmar
(2)    BBC World News
(3)    Oxford Advanced     Learner’s Dictionary
(4)    Black’s Law Dictionary (Second Edition)


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