Researcher Shatha Khalil *
The year 1957 was the beginning of the Iranian nuclear program, when the Shah of Iran signed a nuclear program agreement with America, to announce the proposed agreement for cooperation in the field of research and peaceful uses of atomic energy under the auspices of the Eisenhower program “Atom for Peace”, and in 1967, the Tehran Center for Nuclear Research was founded .
But Iran’s signing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1968, made it subject to inspection and investigation by the International Energy Agency … and that was the beginning of the crisis.
After the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Iran in 1979, relations between Iran and Western countries were markedly broken .Nuclear program entered a dormant phase, after Western companies withdrew from nuclear projects and supplies of highly enriched uranium, halting Iran’s nuclear program for a while.
Then, in 1981, the Iranian president allowed research into nuclear energy. In 1983, the IAEA cooperated with Tehran on the chemical level and the design of experimental plants for the uranium conversion, especially at the Isfahan nuclear technology site. However, the western position was generally opposed to such cooperation. With the outbreak of war between Iran and Iraq, the Bushehr nuclear power plant was damaged and stopped functioning.
Russia helped Iran in the 1990s by providing nuclear power experts. In 1992, allegations of undeclared Iranian nuclear activities spread to the international media, prompting Iran to invite IAEA inspectors to visit nuclear facilities. The result of the inspection was that these activities are peaceful, and in 1995 Iran signed a contract with Russia to fully operate the Bushehr plant, while China withdrew from the project to build a uranium conversion plant.
In 2002, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requested to visit two nuclear sites that were said to be undeclared, but Iran did not allow this until six months after the news broke.
In 2003, Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited Iran for clarification regarding the resumption of uranium enrichment activities, and the IAEA issued a negative report on Iran’s cooperation.
Push and pull between US and Iranian interests:
In 2004, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution demanding that Iran answer all outstanding questions, facilitate immediate access to all sites the IAEA wants to visit, and freeze all uranium enrichment-related activities to a level that would allow for the production of nuclear fuel and fissile material, but former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after his election, he worked to activate the nuclear program and did not care for the Western threats. He also established the Arak heavy water reactor.
In 2014, it was agreed to halt the US freeze of billions of dollars in Iranian funds, in return for Iran halting the conversion of 20% enriched uranium into fuel.
In the same year, the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization made adjustments to the Arak facility to ensure production of less plutonium.
In 2015, after a series of meetings in Vienna, a final agreement, called a “framework agreement”, on Iran’s nuclear program was reached between the US parties headed by Barack Obama, the UK, Russia, China, France, Germany and Iran.
But developments in the nuclear deal took place on May 8, 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump announced the decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, vowing that his country would impose “the highest level of economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”
With the introduction of US sanctions with several entrances, exceptions, and the abolition of those exceptions, all these events are only in the interest of the two countries , no matter what the media says about these relations ,the US-Iran relations or, in other words , the mutual interests between them , and thirdly , Israel are stronger than any ideological dispute that can be resolved .
The treacherous alliance:
In the book “Treacherous Alliance of Iranian-American Writer Trita Parsi, Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University, in which he revealed the secrets of the dealings between Israel, Iran and the United States, over the past fifty years, and its impact on American policies, and on America’s position in the Middle East. The first book in more than twenty years, dealing with a very sensitive topic about Iranian-Israeli dealings, and bilateral relations between them.
Concerning Iraq in a summery, the book is based on more than 130 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian, and American officials and decision-makers in their countries, as well as considerable and relevant documentation, analysis and information.
Iranian-American cooperation in the exploitation of Iraq!
Iranian clerics still had few valuable cards they hoped to play to reverse Washington’s controversy for the interest of US State Department.
One of these papers was Iranian intelligence data, and the acquaintance of Iranians on the situation in Iraq, thanks to the eight years of the 1980s, the Iranians absorbed the American dispute and the complex Iraqi tribal social networks and knew how to deal with them.
Tehran believed that Washington would need this knowledge, which would give the Iranians some leverage over the neoconservatives. Without a channel of communication, misunderstandings could occur, which would benefit Iran’s regional rivals, including Israel and some Arab states, as Iraqi opposition groups pressed which have close ties with Tehran.
In return, for the Iranians to help the Americans , in the end the Iranians needed a channel to understand the USdecisions on Iraq and the influence on , and the Americans needed Iran not to complicate US plans., thus ,the Geneva Channel reopened in late spring 2002, after the US State Department contacted with the Iranians.
Iran’s chances of winning the US administration to achieve its interests in Iraq:
The book also reveals very confidential documents and information that Iranian officials found that the only chance to win the US administration is to provide more and more important assistance in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, by responding to what it needs, in return for what Iran will ask it , in the hope that An integrated deal would restore normal relations between the two countries and end the fears of both sides.
While the Americans invaded Iraq in April 2003, Iran was working on a bold and integrated “proposal” that included all the important topics to serve as a basis for a “grand bargain” with the Americans when it was negotiated in resolving the US-Iran conflict, or, in other words , to resolve a conflict of interest. between Iran and America.
The Iranian proposal or secret document was sent to Washington. The secret Iranian proposal offered an interesting set of political concessions that Iran would make if the “grand bargain” were approved. It included a number of topics, the most important of which are:
• Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran’s policy toward Israel.
• Fight al-Qaeda.
Establishment of three joint US-Iranian working groups in parallel to negotiate a “road map” on three topics :
• Weapons of mass destruction.
• Terrorism and regional security.
• Economic cooperation.
Based on the above, Iran and the United States share many common interests in the region, both in a state of hostile to Iraq, while at the same time their economic interests require control of Iraq’s wealth, and both support the flow of oil without hindrance, and both oppose – to varying degrees – growing of the strength of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Afghan drug trade, despite the overlap of interest between three parties, “America, Iran and Israel,” and the latter remain cautious that the common interests between Iran and the United States are overwhelming and remain far away and this is not acceptable to it .
Lie closing the Strait of Hormuz:
In military terms, Iran could close the Strait, or disrupt navigation, according to maritime experts.
According to the American professor and expert in the waterways, the Iranian army does not need supernatural military capabilities to close the corridor, it can strike merchant ships with missiles or the use of naval boats, submarines or even sea mines, and thus can disrupt navigation, and cause severe damage to the movement of trade or even stop it completely for a while.
Professor Witz points out that during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, insurance rates for ships and commercial cargo passing through the Strait of Hormuz rose by 400 percent.
Under international law, the Strait of Hormuz is part of the high seas, and all ships have the right and freedom to pass through it, as long as it does not harm the safety of the coastal States or affect their regime or security. Iran has tried several times at the Law of the Sea Conference, which falls under the umbrella of the United Nations, to have the right to supervise the strait, but its request has been rejected several times, and therefore Tehran has no right to close the corridor if tensions between it and Washington turn into war.
Politically and economically, most of the energy exported from the Gulf region, whether oil or gas, is destined for Asian countries, led by China, which is allied with the Iranian government, and is not imported by the United States, which is almost oil-rich.
The closure is a lie, and a mere Iranian fanfare, because by closing it, it will strangle the Iranian economy, which is already suffering from successive crises, despite its exploitation and dependence on the Iraqi economy.
Deal between America and Iran:
The United States, a strategic ally, presented Iraq on a plate of gold to Iran. The deal has no limitation . Iran is the biggest partner after Israel with America. The best evidence of this is what happened in the 1980s, when a big scandal was known then as the scandal of “Iran Gate” , where it was revealed to the world that a torrent of weapons and spare parts were shipped from America through Israel to Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, as well as what is happening now with the Gulf States blackmail, they are forced annually to buy weapons from America and its allies with tens of billions, under the pretext the balance of power in the region and to confront Iran.
Therefore, the US escalation with Iran is a blackmail to the Gulf states because the US administration is thinking on a commercial and non-political basis through threats and warnings of the Iranian danger, and the US is the only one to counter this danger, therefore, the gains that these countries gain from the return of oil prices to rise will push them to America in one way or another, making the Americans the beneficiaries of both rising and falling prices.
In sum, the United States will not fight a war with Iran and unable to launch it, because such a war poses a threat to the global oil market, which poses US national security, and this is not profitable for both Iran and the United States, but escalation, tension and the verbal and political crisis, this can lead to many gains for the Americans and Iranians, the only loser from this game is Iraq and Iraqis first, and Arabs second.
Translated by : mudhaffar al-kusairi
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies