ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Détente between Tehran and Washington

The détente between the US and the Islamic Republic opens a door for the Iranian people.

The pro-American ruling elites in west Asia, especially those in Israel and Saudi Arabia, are upset, but a United States imperialist war against Iran has been averted by the “Joint Plan of Action”, agreed to in Geneva on 24 November by the P-5 + 1 (the US, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, plus Germany) and the Islamic Republic of Iran. One now knows better, from the US invasion of Iraq, what such an invasion would have meant, especially for the people of Iran – death, ruin, trauma, the destruction of physical infrastructure, aggravation of the already severe economic hardships that the sanctions have brought in their wake. But imperialist interference will remain, even if, for the moment, “regime change” imposed by US imperialism is not on the cards. The two sides, the Islamic Republic and the US establishment, are getting all the attention, but what about the people of Iran? Should we not look at the situation from their point of view?

What was agreed upon in Geneva last month is an interim deal, covering the next six months, leading to a “long-term comprehensive agreement”, only after which the remaining (the bulk of) sanctions on Tehran are to be lifted. But from what has already been agreed, Iran’s nuclear programme has been frozen for now, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has been allowed to conduct its intrusive inspections. In return, there is some relief for Iran – access to a small part of its huge assets which are frozen in its accounts with transnational banks, resumption of trade in petrochemicals, gold, other precious metals, aircraft and auto parts, and so-called “humanitarian trade” in food and medicines. The bulk of the sanctions, however, remain in place, sanctions that have led to a drastic fall in Iran’s oil exports and deprived the country of access to the international financial system, and importantly, “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. Iran now cannot enrich uranium beyond the 5% limit required to fuel its nuclear power reactors; so enrichment to weapons grade uranium is out of the question.

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