News ID: 323947
Published: 0228 GMT September 04, 2022

Cutting reliance on West

Cutting reliance on West

Ja’afar Qannadbashi

Middle East affairs expert

Talks in Vienna to restore the JCPOA and lift US sanctions on Iran are nearing its finale. Regardless of whether a deal is clinched or not, one thing should not go unnoticed which is Iran’s upper hand compared to the past few years.

A string of internal and external factors are at play in helping Iran attain such a superior position. These factors, in fact, boosted Iranian negotiators’ self-confidence greatly. 

The Russia-Ukraine war, as an external factor, and its ramifications affecting global economy and energy markets have forced energy-hungry Europeans and the West to show more flexibility in the course of the talks. Moreover, European nations have other crises to deal with. 

Iran's oil and gas resources and the energy crisis in the West as a result of the Ukraine war have strengthened Iran's position.

Another external factor is the way US President Joe Biden differs from its predecessor Donald Trump. Biden, who appears to be weaker than Trump, has chosen diplomacy toward Iran.

The last but not the least, is Israeli infighting and political uncertainty which have intensified in recent years.  

Above all is the Iranian government’s shift of policy, which focuses on internal capacities rather than looking outward. President Raeisi’s government has tried to put aside or balance reliance on the West. Having balanced foreign policy and diversifying trade and political partners have reinforced the belief that the country can be run without reliance on the West.

As a result of such policy shift, European countries began to notice that they are being alienated from Iran and other countries are replacing them in political and economic relations.

Fearing that they might lose their relations with Iran, the Europeans became more flexible in the Vienna talks and redoubled their efforts to reach a deal.

Iran’s regional policy and the development of relations with neighboring countries, as well as China and Russia, played an important role in elevating its status, especially that China and Russia are among the parties to the Vienna negotiations.

Running the country while being subject to unilateral US sanctions under the Iranian government’s new policy has sent the message to Iran’s enemies that turning up pressure on Iran would lead to nowhere and that Iran has the capability to overcome challenges by diversifying its policies.

One of the important reasons of such domestic capabilities is knowledge-based companies that have made significant progress in the past years.

All these elements have put Iran in a superior position ahead of a likely deal on reviving the JCPOA. If the agreement is signed, new capacities for economic development would be available for the country. And if not, Iran will continue its efforts to cut its reliance on the West.

 

 

   
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