By M. A. Saki
January 18, 2022 TEHRAN TIMES
TEHRAN – A member of an Islamabad-based think tank says that Washington is not committed to any diplomatic ethics or obligation.
“The U.S. does not follow any diplomatic ethics or obligation they undertake in any agreement,” Zafar Iqbal Yousafzai, a senior research associate at Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), tells the Tehran Times.
Citing an example, Yousafzai says, “We have the first Iran nuclear deal from which the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew in May 2018.”
The European Union said on Friday that despite a painful start weeks ago, international talks to save the Iran nuclear deal have entered the New Year with positive signals emerging. The EU also said restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal is possible.
There has been a marked shift in tone since the current round of talks began in Vienna in late November, even if the Western powers complain the pace of talks is slow while Iran is accelerating its nuclear work.
However, Iran is seeking a guarantee that the U.S. won’t abandon the nuclear agreement again if it is revived.
“As far as a guarantee for the future nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S. is concerned, no one can guarantee that the U.S. will not abandon it,” the Pakistani expert believes.
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: How do you see the trajectory of the Vienna talks?
A: Negotiations to salvage the nuclear deal resumed in late November after they were suspended in June as Iran elected a new conservative government. The 2015 deal – agreed by Iran, the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany – offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. But then-U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. in 2018 and reimposed biting sanctions, prompting Tehran to begin rolling back on its commitments. Iran seems satisfied from talks where Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters: there has been good progress on all four issues of removing sanctions, nuclear issues, verification, and obtaining guarantees during the latest round of talks. However, the pace of the talks seems quite slow.
Q: A guarantee that the U.S. governments won’t abandon any nuclear pact again is one of stumbling blocks. How can this be solved?
A: As far as guarantee for the future nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S. is concerned, no one can guarantee that the U.S. will not abandon it. The U.S. does not follow any diplomatic ethics or obligation they undertake in any agreement. We have the first Iran nuclear deal from which the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew in May 2018. We also have another example where the U.S. following the Doha deal with the Taliban did not care of it. The U.S. had agreed to leave Afghanistan before May 1st, 2021 yet they stayed there beyond that. Also, the U.S. had agreed not to attack the Taliban as the latter had agreed to do so yet the U.S. forces had breached this provision as well. Hence, there is no guarantee that the U.S. will keep its promises made in any agreement.
Q: Noam Chomsky, in a recent interview, has suggested the idea of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in West Asia. Why does nobody like to address Israel’s nuclear arsenals while Iran is tending to accept a nuclear-free West Asia?
A: Chomsky, the renowned linguist, philosopher, and outspoken critic of American foreign policy, spoke to Democracy in Exile amid another round of indirect negotiations between Iran and the U.S. in Vienna, which have so far failed to make progress on salvaging the nuclear deal. He argued that the threat of Iran is inflated and that there is a better solution to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East (West Asia)—establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the entire region—if only the U.S. would support it.
Q: Israeli officials openly say they won’t honor any possible nuclear deal with Iran. What are the implications of such remarks?
A: Israel was not happy over the Iran nuclear deal made by the Obama administration. Trump being near to Israel unilaterally withdrew from the deal. Now at the moment when the Vienna talks are going on, Israel is concerned about any resumption of the previous deal or any new deal between Washington and Tehran. Tehran is more interested in solving the issue as its economy is harmed by Western sanctions. However, Israel would be a serious threat to any deal in the future as well.