Iranian radicals who see themselves on the front line against Zionism and the Great Satan are on tenterhooks this summer. Iran, a weak middle-power country often itself isolated from the rest of the world, could succeed in dealing a huge blow to the credibility of the most powerful state on the planet, and with it the positive values it represents.
For those Americans, diplomats and wonks following the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action (CJPoA) over Iran's nuclear program agreed on July 14, attention has now shifted from Vienna to Washington, to the next scene in this tortuous strategic drama over nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
Leaders of the E3+3 and Iran are working towards crafting a binding agreement aimed at increasing controls on Iran’s nuclear program that would impact upon the time it would take for Iran to create a nuclear bomb, and reducing sanctions.
This week on May 13-14, President Obama will be meeting with the heads of state or their deputies from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries at the White House and Camp David, in meetings that could have important lasting impacts on US relations throughout the region, the prospects for regional security and for nuclear non-proliferation.
The prime purpose of the NPT and its review conferences is to bring the international community together in a joint enterprise to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and work towards eliminating nuclear weapons in their entirety.This project requires states to participate in good faith.
The deadline for the final agreement between the E3+3/P5+1 and Iran is set for the end of June and is not likely to be extended again. However, the P5+1 and Iran set a self-imposed deadline of March 31st to complete a framework agreement for the deal. In the days leading up to this deadline, the involved countries have been meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland to try to reach compromises on some of the issues that remain.
“Where you stand depends on where you sit” is an old maxim of politics. Where Iranians sit is on a lot of history that inclines them to resent and mistrust America and Britain, and mistrust in particular anything that would compromise their freedom of action.
Nuclear weapons once again see the headlines this week as the international community observes the E3+3 (Also referred to as the P5+1: United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and Germany) and Iran meet this week in Vienna.