CONCERNING NUCLEAR TALKS WITH IRAN
Baghdad nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries did not advance as expected. Although the next round of talks is due on June 18-19, most of the international commentators have no doubt that the US is one of the main obstacles on the way of the two sides reaching agreements at the talks. The way the American delegation behaved before, during and even after the talks, when the US envoy travelled to Tel Aviv, is all indicative of inconsistencies and contradictions existing in the Obama administration. Taking into consideration three important concepts to analyze the Obama administration’s behavior concerning Iran’s nuclear case is highly crucial;
Prior to his presidency, Barack Obama clarified his foreign policy framework in a June 2007 article. In the article, published in Foreign Affairs weekly, Obama referred to Iran as a threat for the US and offered different ways to counter it. This threat-thinking by the US about Iran is not something new. Since the 1979 victory of Iranian revolution, Washington has been referring to Tehran as a threat to its security. But what has been changing over time is the interpretation of this threat, the strength of it, and the way to confront it.
The Obama administration has fundamentally considered Iran's nuclear case and its capabilities a threat. However, there are different viewpoints among the US national security elites about the degree of this threat. Obama, for instance, does not consider Iran's nuclear threat an urgent one. This is while, on the other side there are the Neocons and those related to the Zionist regime rightists who deem Iranian threat as deep and highly urgent, so that even a day of negligence is unforgivable.
Obama believes once Iran gets hold of atomic weapons, it would be time for the United States to get into action as quickly as possible. In that case, as he has lately announced, Washington would not pursue the policy of containment anymore, and would, instead, adopt other policies such as the pre-emptive ones. Nevertheless, the US views Iran a threat-creating country and thereby enters any multilateral negotiation.
Multilateralism does not merely belong to the Obama administration. The US included Iran's nuclear case into the multilateralism phase since the late years of the Bush era. The Bush administration did its best to adopt a united stance with other veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. But what went through changes was further emphasis on multilateralism and intensification of its mechanism in the Obama administration, which will witness their desired strategic result in the 1929 resolution.
The way Obama has taken in his anti-Iran multilateralism has been and will be coupled with challenges. The US will always have to modify its policies in a bid to keep P5+1countries in company.
But what is important to mention is that this multilateralism has not originated from Obama's thought, but from his team who place much further emphasis on international cooperation concerning nuclear issues management than the previous US governments.
2012 is the year of elections in the US and Obama is having a challenging time ahead. Iran's nuclear case is one of the key issues in the election discourses and debates. Obama is facing various pressures; the domestic one from the Congress and the outside pressure from the Zionist regime as well as some Arab countries.
It's exactly these pressures that have resulted in Washington's current stance vis-à-vis Baghdad talks. As the world media have put it, the European states were willing to consider adjourning of sanctions on Iranian oil. There were even reports on the US compromise. The pressure, however, coming from the Congress and the Zionist regime, practically stopped the US from acting flexibly.
Meanwhile, following the AIPEC meeting, the US House of representatives convened in March 2012. The meeting, also attended by 12 thousand political activists supporting Zionist regime, passed a resolution urging the US to take measures as to prevent Iran from reaching the capacity of producing nuclear weapons.
The Obama administration seems to face challenges in managing these pressures, which will consequently lead to a certain behavior on the part of the US concerning Iran's nuclear case.
Firstly, Washington will adopt the double policy of tightening of sanctions coupled with holding multilateral talks. This is exactly the policy that the US Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton, has referred to as "Two Track Policy."
Secondly, the Obama administration will try to create a balance between different considerations of domestic nature as well as those related to its Zionist and Arab allies. But one may wonder how far he will be able to maintain this balance. As far as the US Presidential Election is considered, Obama government seems to succeed in keeping the balance, but the practical consequence of such a balance will be inflexibility at nuclear talks.
And thirdly, the situation will lead to a possible facilitation of talks and keeping in place the sanctions. This is in fact what the Obama administration has failed to notice, which may turn into a crucial issue. The way the US will behave in this regard is highly crucial.
Generally speaking, Iran's nuclear case is a dynamic issue, but the US behavior is rooted in the security issues concerning Iran which is also suffering pressures and conflicts coming from the US domestic policies in the US Presidential elections. Obama and his team should bear in mind that Iran is an important, considerable and effective agent in this regard.