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Russian experts weigh in on benefits and drawbacks of Lausanne compromise

April 03, 2015, 16:06 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. Not only Tehran, but the whole world breathed a sign of relief after news arrived from the Swiss city of Lausanne about a compromise reached on the Iranian problem. The results of the negotiations between Sextet (five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany) and Iran on Tehran’s nuclear program are "beneficial for the international community," say experts polled by TASS.

"The positions of Sextet [countries] at talks on Iran’s nuclear program coincided after a painful diplomatic marathon because no one in the world wants Iran to develop nuclear weapons in a rather turbulent region of the Middle East. More than that, neither Russia, nor Europe, nor US after President Barack Obama took the office wanted to solve the Iranian nuclear problem by military means, which Israel threatened to Tehran. No one in the world needs a war in the Persian Gulf. And this is the main result of a coordinated common approach to solving the problem with Iranian nuclear program," head of the International Security Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexey Arbatov told TASS.

"It is too early to talk about consequences of lifted sanctions. Coordinating a comprehensive document on the Iranian nuclear program envisages numerous details which may amount to a whole book. As the talks in Lausanne were held behind closed doors, it is unclear who will pay for the implementation of the reached agreements? Who will destroy Iran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium? There are certain doubts that the sides will manage to coordinate all technical details in such a short term of three months," the expert said.

"Unfortunately, there is a threat that the agreements reached in Lausanne may be disrupted. The compromise agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has many weaknesses, which will be extensively used by Israeli lobbyists in the US and Republicans in Congress. They may deliver some kind of ultimatum to Barack Obama, put him in a difficult position. Apart from that, Iran already accuses Sextet of biased interpretation of the agreements. Tehran interprets the agreements in such a way that all sanctions should be cancelled immediately, while US and EU are talking about a phased sanction relief," Arbatov said.

"Reaching an agreements on Iran’s nuclear problem was a matter of honor for the US, because the economic blockade of Iran should be ended under guarantees that Tehran will not develop nuclear weapons and threaten American ally - Israel. EU supported the US. Moscow, in its turn, wanted for the sanctions against Tehran to be lifted in order to develop trade and economic relations with Iran. So, all sides in the negotiations were interested in the positive result of negotiations," scientific council member at Moscow Carnegie Center Alexey Malashenko told TASS.

"It can be assessed as a possible development that Moscow and Washington, despite being at the lowest point of their bilateral relations at the moment, found common ground at talks in Lausanne. Apart from a common position on Iran’s nuclear program, Russia and US also share understanding that finding a solution to a difficult situation in the Middle East because of escalating threat from the terrorist Islamic State [group] and war in Yemen, requires diplomatic efforts of the two countries that have serious influence in the region," the expert said.

"However, consequences of future cancellation of anti-Iranian sanctions are ambiguous for Russia. It is not ruled out that the Iranian authorities will turn to the West, not Russia, for trade and economic cooperation. Also, resumption of oil extraction in Iran may bring oil prices further down, which is not beneficial for Russia," Malashenko said.

"US pursued several goals at negotiations in Lausanne. First of all, Barack Obama can use sanction-free Iran as an instrument for exerting pressure on ‘disobedient’ countries in the Middle East. The US president needs Iran to fight the Islamic State. Iranian oil and gas after sanctions are lifted, according to White House’s plans, will go to the European market, ousting Russian fuels. Apart from that, Barack Obama, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, wants to make history as a peacemaker by the end of his second presidential term," president of the Institute of the Middle East Yevgeny Satanovsky told TASS.

"The threat of disrupting the agreements reached in Lausanne on Iran’s nuclear program comes from Israel and Saudi Arabia, because Iran will become a regional superpower - a development feared by Tel Aviv and Riyadh," the expert concluded.


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