Saudi Arabia, Israel oppose Iran-P5+1 deal over Iran power potentials: Scholar

An American international relations scholar says Saudi Arabia and Israel oppose a potential deal between Iran and the P5+1 because of the implications that the deal may have for “Iran’s long-term power.”

In an op-ed published on the website of Foreign Policy on Sunday, Stephen M. Walt, a Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University, argued that a potential deal between Iran and the P5+1 is less important for its opponents than “what this deal portends about Iran’s future relations with the outside world.”

Iran and the P5+1 – the US, France, Russia, the UK, China and Germany – have been negotiating to reach a comprehensive deal over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Walt referred to Iran’s refusal to pursue the acquisition of nuclear weapons because of fatwas (religious decrees) by the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, as well as what the professor described as a strategically justified decision that the possession of nuclear weapons would be harmful to Iran’s interests.

Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have on numerous occasions said that the Islamic Republic deems atomic weapons detrimental to its interests and in contradiction to its core Islamic principles.

Walt said, “Iran has had some sort of nuclear research program since the 1970s,” and it did not make a decision to build nuclear bombs. “Israel did, Pakistan and India did, South Africa did (and then gave up its arsenal), and so did North Korea.”

“Iran could almost certainly have weaponized by now if it really, really wanted to. But it hasn’t,” the Harvard University professor wrote.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which supervises Iran’s nuclear program has never concluded in its reports on Iran that there has been deviation in Tehran’s nuclear program towards militarism.

Referring to the restrictions imposed against Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Walt said a potential lifting of the bans “would allow the Iranian economy to recover, pave the way for the restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Tehran, and gradually allow the two states to deal with each other on a more normal and business-like basis.”

Stephen M. Walt, a Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University


The Harvard University professor then touched upon opposition from the Israeli regime, Saudi Arabia and a few other countries to the elimination of the restrictions against Iran, citing the vast Iranian potentials for increased power.

“Were Iran to leave the penalty box, rejoin the international community, open itself to trade and investment, and encourage its scientists, students, and business community to re-engage with the outside world, it would in all likelihood become the most powerful single state in the greater Middle East,” Walt wrote.

By Press TV