Iran Nuclear Deal: Implications for Regional Security

By Hussain, Nazir; Abdullah, Sannia | Journal of Political Studies, Winter 2015 | Go to article overview

Iran Nuclear Deal: Implications for Regional Security


Hussain, Nazir, Abdullah, Sannia, Journal of Political Studies


Iranian nuclear controversy is the dynamics of capability versus intentions. Despite Iranian claims, its pursuit of nuclear technology is viewed as threat to regional peace and security. For the last one decade, IAEA inspectors, policy makers, diplomatic and technical experts have been trying to halt Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In this regard, several stakeholders pressurized the Obama Administration about the impending dangers seeking rapprochement with Iran. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia consider Iran 'not trust-worthy' partner to enter into any bilateral or multilateral agreement, based on the mutual mistrust and baggage of past conflicts. Despite political pressures from its Middle Eastern allies, President Barak Obama with President Hassan Rouhani, showing political maturity kept faith in the negotiation process to find solution to the world's most serious nuclear crises. Tehran's crippling economy and dearth of resources with high inflation rate compelled Iran to break the deadlock and ease country's international isolation. The nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 States shocked many policy makers who opposed the deal at first. However, fine reading to the nuclear agreement reveals that it would be absolutely impossible for Iran to pursue its clandestine nuclear activities or make any attempt to cheat the world powers in the next 10-15 years. Therefore, this study attempts to highlight the contours of Iran nuclear deal and elucidates the possible implications on the regional security.

Theoretical Context

Diplomacy is a key instrument of policy in international relations and is known as 'art of negotiations.' Many interstate conflicts reaching a point of 'mutually hurting stalemate' observe settling down on areas of common interest between them. Usually, it is a near win-win situation for both conflicting parties slightly falling in favor of relatively stronger/powerful state. Certainly, diplomacy does not resolve the conflict as per the wishes; however, it brings both parties to a feasible compromise. Thus, diplomacy in international relations is a complex phenomenon as it involves 'states' as entity where national interests remain permanent and decision makers can-not risk their political careers and annoy public opinion by making a risky choice. In such an environment, diplomacy becomes a tedious task as it overcomes several impediments at domestic level before entering into agreement with the adversarial state.

Coercive diplomacy is generally practiced among relatively unequal rivals where stakes of both states are at greater risk. Therefore, diplomacy as a tool is used in the form of threats, sanctions (military and non-military), limited use of military option to seek negotiation between parties to the conflict. It is pertinent to mention that coercive diplomacy is mistakenly used interchangeably with 'compellence' or 'dissuasion' which are different in their scope and entirety(Angeren, 2006). The concept of coercive diplomacy consists of three core elements: 1) a demand, 2) a threat and 3) time pressure(Sauer, January 2007). Demand in coercive diplomacy is the ultimate goal aiming to either stop the continuation of existing behavior/policy or reverse the action of the other negotiating party. Threat is meant to achieve the desired goal; coincidentally, demand is always supported by the magnitude of threat imposed or being communicated. Lastly, diplomacy awaits the 'ripe moment' and is closely linked with the time factor. Generally, time mounts pressure on the other state under the looming tension of 'threat' likely to be materialized. Therefore, deadlines followed by more stringent action i.e. economic, political sanctions, oil embargoes, naval quarantine and limited military strikes at the outskirts etc. are common strategies to employ coercive diplomacy(Sauer, January 2007).

The Iranian Nuclear Agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) on July 14, 2015 represents the success of coercive diplomacy. …

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