At the end of World War two in 1945, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The results of the bomb were terrible beyond imagination and it is estimated that it killed between 90,000 and 166,000 people. This weapon of mass destruction that destroys everything in its way has become regarded as a threat to the entire world and later the Non-proliferation treaty agreed upon by 189 countries around the world. Iran also took part in this treaty and agreed to only use nuclear technology for peaceful measures. But in 2002 an exiled Iranian opposition group that was residing in US, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, disclosed the existence of a secret heavy-water production facility and nuclear fuel production facility that had been built in Natanz. Thus, Iran became an issue of the world due to the fear that Iran was developing nuclear weapons. Since then negotiations have been ongoing with France, the UK, and the U.S.
Settlement in Teheran
After the disclosure of the secret nuclear fuel production facility, the Iranian president Kathami acknowledges in 2003 that there really are such facilities although it was for the purpose of producing low-enriched uranium. The UN reacts and sends the IAEA, which is the UN’s nuclear watchdog, to Iran to check out the facilities and comes back with the result that Iran is not doing a proper job of reporting their nuclear activities. After this report by the IAEA, the UK, France, and Germany (EU-3) come together and try to deploy diplomatic measures to prevent Iran’s nuclear activities. Iran, which faced the danger of being summoned to the UN Security Council, makes an agreement, the Teheran Declaration, with the EU-3 and agrees to suspend the production of uranium and to follow IAEA’s orders. However, the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 cancels the declaration and starts the production of Uranium for peaceful purposes, promising not to make weapons.
-Economically Tied Up
IAEA responds to Iran’s new nuclear policy by pointing out that Iran’s actions are going against the NPT. However, Iran continues to invest in nuclear technology and succeeds in producing low-enriched uranium in 2006. As result the UN Security Council decides to pass resolutions to enforce economic sanctions on Iran. Five more resolutions are passed in the following four years which threaten Iran to stop developing nuclear technologies or there will be further sanctions. The later sanctions include the banning of helicopters and missiles, and restrictions on importing and trading with companies that have any relation to nuclear technology. The continued sanctions lead to the Iran 2012 exchange rate falling by 80% in 2011.
-Negotiation in Geneva
In 2013 the president of Iran changes once again and this time the new president is more cooperative with the UN. Probably due to the economic sanctions, the president needed to desperately recover the economy. In November, 2003 Iran gets together with the U.S, the U.K, France, Russia, and Germany in Geneva to come to an agreement. The reason for the involvement of these countries is because the countries beside Germany belong to the UN Secretary Council with Germany included for the agreement due to other reasons. Germany has a relationship with the nuclear technology that Iran is developing because they had helped build the facilities in Iran since the 1970’s and a German company gave Iran the programs that allowed them to produce uranium. Also Germany trades the most with Iran, in terms of western countries, and in 2005 exports to Germany by Iran reached almost 14.4% of all exports. Therefore Germany was included in the agreement for the economic influence that Germany has over Iran.
The aim of the agreement was to reduce or to stop the nuclear development programs and so that economic sanctions of about 7 billion dollars could be relaxed. Iran was suffering heavily from its economic losses. In fact, Iran ranks 4th in the world for the amount of potential oil the country has. However, the economic sanctions prevented them from exporting less than half of what they had used to. After this agreement, many oil companies focused their attention on Iran and the economy seemed like it would get better. However, some countries did not see this agreement in such a bright light. In particular, the countries that were geologically close to Iran did not feel favorable towards this agreement. Nations that were hostile to Iran such as Israel believed that the agreement made Iran stronger. The agreement was to keep the production of uranium under 50% but that did not mean that Iran could not develop nuclear technology. Rather it gave them the legitimacy to produce uranium and research nuclear technology. Also they were stating that it was unfair for Iran to have such privileges in producing uranium and that they should be given the right to do it to also. However, if such things were to happen that would make the NPT almost a useless treaty, this was realistically impossible to accept. Another thing was that by making an agreement with Iran, it would mean that the world gave in to the reckless and independent actions that Iran has took. This would lead to other countries following the same footsteps to earn their right to produce uranium.
-Geneva Fails, Joint Plan of Action
On December, 2013 the US suggests another condition for the agreement which is that Iran should not trade or invest in 12 companies that sell parts related to weapons of mass destruction. Iran says that this new term is inappropriate and goes against the Geneva agreement. Still, they were not unwilling to make new suggestions and cooperate. Thus the 6 countries come together once more and try to make a new deal. However even after 4 months of diplomacy and talking, the countries did not come to an agreement and instead launched the ‘joint plan of action’. According to the joint plan Iran for the next 6 months, will destroy 20% of the uranium stored in the country and dismantle the facilities for producing them. The IAEA will continue to keep an eye out and watch over Iran. For this, the economic sanctions on Iran will be loosened. Iran kept to this and reduced its uranium production and had sanctions lifted.
6 months pass and on 2014 November the joint plan of action was coming to an end.
Again the 6 countries meet, and this time it was in Austria, Vienna. However the negotiations did not go smoothly, which was because the interests that Iran and other countries had were too different. Iran wanted the economic sanctions to be lifted right after the negotiations because of the drop in economy that Iran was experiencing due to the years of economic sanctions. Also, Iran wanted still to argue that some uranium production was necessary for nuclear energy power and other peaceful means. The IAEA, who were watching over them, was also something that they wanted to get rid of right away. On the other hand, the 6 countries did not want to lift sanctions right away in case Iran did not keep to the agreements and act independently. The amount of uranium that they wanted Iran to produce was also very low. For these reasons the negotiations kept being extended and continued until April, 2015 where there was a negotiation in Switzerland. Yet again it was extended. The U.S and Iran had nothing to gain from these long negotiations. The U.S wanted to finish negotiations early because the Republicans that are against making an agreement with Iran were coming into power. So the America president, Obama, was in a tight spot and wanted to solve the problem quickly. Iran needed to recover their economy as quickly as they could. For these reasons, the negotiations showed steps of development and in April the framework of the negotiations were set. Then in July, the final negotiation resolutions were announced. According to these, Iran would reduce the facilities that produce uranium and suspend its production and the IAEA would see if Iran follows the agreement. After this, the sanctions that had been in force since 2006 would be gradually lifted. Still though, there were disagreements between the 6 countries as lifting the sanctions related to weapons of mass destruction. The U.S, France, and Germany believed that the weapons should still be sanctioned because the Middle East is already a gun powder keg waiting to explode. It would do no good to give them weapons which would be like fueling a fire.
As one can tell by looking at North Korea or Iran, nuclear issues are very sensitive topics in the world. The destructive power that nuclear bombs have is enough to wipe out the Earth and that is why the world is inevitably so interested in them. In particular, the countries right next door will feel most uncomfortable and threatened. The stubborn pursuit for nuclear technology that Iran is showing might allow them to have extra power and nuclear knowledge. However, it is making other countries, especially the neighboring countries, wary and in result it is making more enemies. Iran should think carefully about how to act after the negotiations are over.
August, 2002 = Exiled Iranian opposition group exposes nuclear fuel production facility built in Natanz
June, 2003 = The IAEA points out Iran’s failure in reporting nuclear activities
November, 2004 11 = Iran makes an agreement with EU
August, 2005 = Iran declares it will produce uranium again
April, 2006 = Iran succeeds is producing uranium
December, 2006 = The UN Security Council, 1st economic sanction resolution
March, 2007 = The UN Security Council, 2nd economic sanction resolution
March, 2008 = The UN Security Council, 3rd economic sanction resolution
June, 2010 = The UN Security Council, 4th economic sanction resolution
November, 2013 = Geneva, negotiation framework done.
January, 2014 = Joint plan action begins
April, 2015 = Switzerland, framework done
July, 2015 = Final negotiations< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >