Russia and Iran, who are at loggerheads with the United States, have set a new course in deepening strategic alliance with the arrival of President Vladimir Putin in Tehran having wider implications for the Middle East region.
Putin held a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has a final say on all state matters, which US is watching more curiously after President Donald Trump has refused to recertify the 2015 nuclear accord. Both Putin and Khamenei discussed at length the nuclear issue, Syria and regional matters.
Putin will also attend second trilateral meeting with Presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan.Displaying its diplomacy in regional and multilateral forums, Iran will discuss political, economic ,threats posed by terrorism and challenges of regional security with the leaders of Russia and Azerbaijan. The three countries that share the Caspian Sea, will discuss North-South Corridor,railway and road projects at the trilateral summit.
Iran’s influence has grown many-fold in the Middle East and Africa after the 2011 military intervention in Libya that led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
The meeting between Putin and Khamenei assumes much significance as US President Trump had declined to recertify the Iran nuclear deal on October 15.The agreement was negotiated in 2015 with the P5 +1 powers and the European Union. The P5+1 includes Germany and the permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.
Moreover,President Hassan Rouhani had said that US cannot withdraw unilaterally from the deal and “If a government like the US government states that it is not committed to an important international commitment, and its reason is that the previous administration has been tricked, then what happens with the continuity of the responsibility of the governments?You are explicitly violating your previous agreements and neglecting a UN Security Council-approved agreement.”
The nuclear accord imposes strict limits on Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for lifting international sanctions on the country .A US law called the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) requires the president to recertify every 90 days so that the deal is in US national security interests.
The deal has been sent to Congress which has 60 days to act on the Iran accord.
Congress has the powers to reimpose old sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 deal in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programmme. But reimposing them would effectively destroy the deal.
Trump seeks to change the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program which will have castratrophic consequences.
Terming the demand by US President Donald Trump as unrealistic, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov had said,”I believe the demands on (the Iranian) agreement put forward by the US president recently are unrealistic,Many officials in the US administration have an erroneous idea that it is possible to add something to the agreement. That’s impossible. We held negotiations on the document for 12 years.”
Over 90 top American scientists including a designer of the hydrogen bomb have written a letter to Senate and House leaders of both parties,exhorting Congress to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement .The scientists asserted that the accord was effective in blocking Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
The Iranian minister of foreign affairs has stated that the era of multilateral and international diplomacy and interactions is vogue in the wake of new types of challenges and threats faced by the world.
Meanwhile,The European allies of the United States namely Britain, France and Germany, as well as the European Union, have thrown their weight behind the nuclear accord to save the deal and are also maintaining their alliance with Washington. They argue that the landmark agreement is crucial to regional and global security.
But EU joined the chorus with US by condemning Iran on ballistic missile program.Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has made it clear that it would not back down in the face of US and EU pressure, and would continue to pursue the ballistic missile program for deterring the hostile threats of adversaries.
The sunni dominated countries of Saudi Arabia, Turkey along with Washington and Israel are opposed to the dominating influence of Shiite Iran in the Middle East and Africa. On the other side countries like China, Russia, Middle Eastern countries including Iran and North Korea form an alliance opposed to the United States.
By: Arti Bali