What Will Iran Do?|What Will I Do

发布时间:2020-03-26 来源: 日记大全 点击:

  Iran’s response to a UN resolution requiring it to halt its nuclear program looms large, experts say
  With the halt in fighting between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group, the world’s attention is again turning to the Iran nuclear issue.
  The international community had been waiting for Iran’s response to the package of economic, political and security incentives offered to the country by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States) and Germany in return for a halt to its uranium enrichment work.
  On August 22, the day Iran chose to respond to the proposal, the country’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, indicated that Iran was ready to start “serious talks” over its nuclear program in a letter presented to envoys from those countries and Switzerland, which is representing the United States since Washington has no diplomatic relations with Tehran.
  U.S. President George W. Bush has been watching Iran’s reaction to the UN resolution closely, according to a White House press conference on August 21.
  Larijani’s indication is quite different from Iran’s previous attitudes as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah AliKhamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supported the country’s right to develop nuclear energy on many occasions.
  “We handed the response with a positive view and even tried to open a way for fair talks by interpreting the ambiguous cases logically and positively,” Larijani noted.
  The official also urged the six countries that authored the package to get back to negotiations, adding, “The Islamic Republic is ready to play its role as a responsible country.”
  More than 24 hours later, Washington finally released a statement after studying the 21-page formal response. “The response [of Iran], however, falls short of the conditions set by the Security Council, which require the full and verifiable suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities,” State Department Spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said in the statement.
  According to The Washington Post, U.S. Representative to the UN John R. Bolton said on August 22 that Washington was prepared to move rapidly on a new Security Council resolution calling for economic sanctions against Iran.
  “Actually, compared with Iran’s response on August 22, August 31, when Iran is expected to respond to UN Resolution 1696, is more important in the Iranian nuclear dispute,” said Shen Dingli, Executive Deputy Dean of the Institute of International Studies of Shanghai-based Fudan University.
  On July 31, the UN Security Council passed that resolution, which requires Iran to stop all activities related to nuclear enrichment in one month. “If Iran does not stop its nuclear enrichment activities, the United States and the European Union (EU) may impose sanctions against Iran,” Shen said.
  Military power demonstrated
  On August 19, only three days before Iran’s response to the six-nation proposal, Iran still showed a defiant face and the determination to develop its nuclear program by initiating massive military maneuvers that are scheduled to last for five weeks.
  “These are the largest scale military maneuvers ever launched in Iran with the longest time,” said Hua Liming, a researcher with the China Institute of International Studies. “In this region, only Iran has the ability to launch military maneuvers at such a scale.” He added that the main purpose of the maneuvers, held at a sensitive time, is to demonstrate Iran’s military muscle to the United States and Israel.
  According to Hua, who is a former Chinese ambassador to Iran, these maneuvers also indicate Iranian leaders’ worries about the current situation. After the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, the strategic situation surrounding Iran deteriorated greatly. The nuclear issue puts Iran under further pressure from the international community.
  Before the six-nation proposal was issued, Iran once expected the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to maintain differing attitudes toward handling the dispute, with China and Russia not standing with the United States and European nations. However, Iran’s hope became small after the five nations and Germany agreed to the proposal requiring it to stop nuclear enrichment.
  Meanwhile, the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah revealed Iran’s military strength and influence over the militant group outside of the country. Observers believe Americans and Israelis have already put on alert. There are also concerns that the United States could strike Iran militarily, though some think that would be unlikely. “Taking these elements into consideration, Iran launched the military maneuvers,” Hua said.
  Experts say that through the maneuvers, Iran means to send a clear signal to Washington that Tehran is capable of controlling the Strait of Hormuz and disrupting oil shipments through the strait if the nuclear crisis escalates.
  The Strait of Hormuz is a vital link in the global oil supply network as 60 percent of oil consumed by Western countries is shipped through the waterway.
  Iran’s plan
  “Definitely, Iran wants to win more time for its nuclear development,” said Shen of Fudan University.
  After the six nations agreed on a nuclear proposal to Iran in June that includes supplying a light-water nuclear reactor, exporting airplane parts, providing agricultural technology and supporting Iran’s entry to the World Trade Organization on the precondition that Iran stops its nuclear program, they hoped Iran would respond before July 15.
  Iran declined to respond to the proposal that soon, and set an August 22 deadline.
  According to Shen, since the nuclear issue first arose in 2003, Iran has adopted the tactic of “wearing down” the Western countries in its diplomatic maneuvering, which has been pretty effective. Facing the stick of sanctions from the United States and other Western countries, Iran feels it is impossible for it to abandon its stance on the key issue of uranium enrichment, but it would lose heavily if it confronts the United States.
  Regarding the six-nation proposal, which contains elements favorable to Iran, such as a light water reactor, Iran is likely to respond flexibly and continue to stall for more time, he said.
  Washington has indicated clearly that it would ask for UN sanctions against Iran if it did not meet the deadline of halting uranium enrichment by the end of this month. However, Shen believes that it is very difficult for sanctions to have a great impact on Iran. The most potent weapon would be to block oil shipments from Iran. Iran’s economy is highly independent on oil production, but oil is greatly needed by many countries, including Western countries, so such an action would cause widespread harm.
  “The sole measure the United States may take that can influence Iran is to freeze Iran’s overseas assets,” Shen said. “Even if Iran’s assets in the United States were frozen, those in other countries would not necessarily be frozen. In the face of energy demands, others may not follow suit,” said Shen.
  A long-term issue
  “Although the deadline on UN Resolution 1696 is just around the corner, the Iran nuclear dispute will remain for a long time,” said Ye Qing, Deputy Director of the Division of Middle East Studies of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies.
  On the one hand, Iran is maintaining its right to peaceful nuclear utilization and the principle of independently developing nuclear technology, which have become the basic consensus among the Iranian leadership.
  On the other hand, Iran has taken a hardline attitude toward Western countries; and at the same time, it has not given up negotiations. It hopes to make use of the differences in views among the six countries to gain more time.
  When the international community urged Iran to respond to the six-nation proposal as soon as possible, Iran insisted on its own schedule. According to Ye, Iran has its own views regarding its strength and the current situation in the Middle East.
  Most analysts agree that the Israel-Hezbollah conflicts have significant connections with the Iranian nuclear dispute since nearly all Middle East issues are interconnected. No matter whether Iran has played a role in the fighting or not, or how much of a role it has played, Iran has tried to maximize its interests during the conflicts, which, to some extent, eased pressure on Iran from the international community.
  Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Iran increased their influence in the Islamic world due to their strong anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli stance, said Ye. The shaky Middle East situation cannot withstand any possible chaos brought by the Iranian nuclear crisis. “The UN will take all these elements into consideration when considering sanctions on Iran in the future,” Ye noted.
  In his belief, currently there is room for a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear dispute, but there is still a long way to go before the deadlock is resolved.

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