Nuclear talks between the United States and Iran: What are the elements of a ‘good deal’ to ensure peace?

When it comes to negotiations in international relations, I think that the main question should be: what are the stakes? So looking at the current nuclear talks between Washington and Teheran, I wonder why this agreement hasn’t been reached yet?

From cbsnews.com

From cbsnews.com

As in most negotiations, each party has its resistant points: Washington wants the transparency of Iran’s nuclear program and a 20-year deal to ensure that it is for peaceful purposes, while Teheran requires a lifting of the economical embargo from the UN, which is strongly blocking its economy and a 5-year deal. The aim of this contract for the P5+1 is to guarantee that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. But what else is on the table? I would say: the current and future situation of the Middle East. In my point of view, the U.S are walking on thin ice because this agreement or a lack of agreement can be a turning point for the world.

Sunni-Shia Split in the Middle East from the star.com

Sunni-Shia Split in the Middle East from the star.com

For any negotiators the problematic parts are managing the environment and ensuring the outcomes. Last week, after the US state secretary met the Iranian minister of foreign affairs in order to work on a compromise for the nuclear deal, the U.S also had to manage diplomatic relations with other nations directly and indirectly involved with this settlement. Indeed, John Kerry not only had to reassured the West allies in the Middle East: the GCC (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman) concerning the deal but also to consult the P5+1 states while the prime minister of Israel was having a speech in Washington in order to destroy the nuclear deal.

In my opinion, even if this deal seems to worry, the lack of deal would bring terrific consequences for the Middle East. However to obtain efficient negotiations, I consider that not only technical matters concerning uranium enrichment or plutonium production should be looking at. The lifting of economical sanctions may help Iran to support Bashar Al-Assad, the Hezbollah and rebels in Yemen, and reinforce insecurity in this area, which is why those matters need to be discussed and agreed. Finally, trust is a crucial ingredient for reaching a satisfying deal for both parts. I think that considering their history it’s natural that those two countries have trust issues, however I can’t imagine a successful agreement, which would last and ensure peace without confidence.

from usnews.com

from usnews.com

What do you think of the nuclear talks between Iran and US?

Is Bashar Al-Assad the solution to resolve the conflict with the Islamic State?

Reporters without borders campaign from theinspirationroom.com

Reporters without borders campaign from theinspirationroom.com

Last week the unofficial trip of the four French members of the parliament in Syria raised the debate around the possibility to renew diplomatic relations with Assad regime. Let’s remember that since 2012, most European countries has decided to end their relations with Damascus condemning the violent repression of the opposition since the start of the civil war in Syria. However, today the situation has changed, the threat of Daesh is growing for the West and the need to find solution and stop the conflict becomes critical. But, should we negotiate with the devil to resolve a conflict? I don’t think so.

It’s true that, the Islamic State is threatening us, broadcasting awful beheading videos and being responsible for the terrorist attacks in France and Denmark. The power of Daesh increases day after day and we still have no concrete solution to resolve this issue. Some French diplomats believe that due to the urgency of the situation we should encompass our moral principles, however I think we should remember who is Bashar Al-Assad. Indeed, according to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights more than 210 000 people has died since the start of the civil war and nearly half of them were civilians, not forgetting the awful tortures committed by the Syrian regime over prisoners (See the Carter-Ruck report). So can we consider Bashar Al-Assad as a lesser evil than ISIS? Definitely not.

 

Cartoon from Kevinspin.com

 

For western countries, ISIS is the enemy number 1. Medias are full of horrific videos showing decapitations and ISIS members threatening western civilisations, so how can we remain on the sidelines while terror is coming to us? However, I do believe that resolving a conflict doesn’t mean throwing our moral away to find an easy and efficient solution. Assad Regime has maybe not been filming its actions and spreading what is happening in Syria for 3 years to the International community, but the result remains the same. It may be harder to feel concerned by a problem that we’re less informed about and from which we have no images but we should think about the consequences. First of all, how can we trust a person who commits such terrible acts?

Some people may say that in politics the end justifies the means even if it signifies choosing between two evils, but I don’t. I believe that France should look at the principles beneath the reasons why it intends to fight the Islamic State to understand why Bashar Al-Assad can’t be a solution.

What do you think? Can we consider Bashar Al-Assad as a solution to fight Daesh?

The showdown between Ukraine and Russia. Are win-win deals always possible?

Image from the dailymail.co.uk

Image from the dailymail.co.uk

Since yesterday, Europe is looking toward the Belorussian capital where the four European leaders met in order to negotiate an end to the Ukrainian war. During 16 hours, the mediators Angela Merkel and François Hollande bargained for an agreement between the Russian and the Ukrainian presidents.

Minsk, the last chance summit?

A lot of sticking points were on the table for this meeting, including mainly a ceasefire agreement on the ground and the political status of the areas under the control of the rebels. Finally, this morning the four leaders agreed on a ceasefire plan which should take effect on Sunday 15 February in eastern Ukraine. Is-it a victory? I don’t think so.

The intervention of Germany and France may help the negotiations between the two adversaries but it seems like the two parties don’t have the same perception of conflict resolution.

Image from the dailymail.co.uk

Image from the dailymail.co.uk

The win-win deal, an European pursuit?

The pacifist conception of the European negotiators on how to resolve this conflict seems not shared by Russia. Indeed, the first aim of western negotiators is to stop the massacre and to find a long-term solution in order to avoid military confrontations. But is-it what Vladimir Putin is looking for? His previous behaviour concerning the Ukrainian war proves the contrary. Let’s remember that Russia never stopped sending troops and military equipment into Ukraine in spite of the truce agreement signed in September 2014 in Minsk.

This new agreement may appear as a win-win deal at first sight but if we look at the overall situation, it’s seems like Ukraine has high risk to loose. Indeed, past experiences prove that Putin can play a double game since he denied his military intervention in Ukraine. Also, after ten months of conflict, Kiev is weakened and may definitely lose the control of the Donbass region already in possession of the pro-Russia rebels. Of course, the European Union can maintain the economic sanctions against Russia to dissuade Moscow from destabilising Ukraine, but the damage is done. Even if, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposed a loan of 17,5 billion dollars to avoid a social collapse, the economic situation of the country would require a lot more to overcome existing difficulties.

Is-it possible to obtain a win-win deal when one of the parties wants to win at any price?

What do you think? A win-win situation is still possible for Ukraine and Russia?

handshake

The Guardian Article – Ukraine ceasefire: European leaders sceptical peace plan will work

The Daily Mail Article – Vladimir Putin says Ukrainian peace deal has been agreed and Russian rebels will begin withdrawing heavy artillery from Sunday after marathon talks