Iran and P5+1 Geneva Agreement: A Game Changer?

The Diplomatist, Vol. 2, Issue 3, March 2014

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

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Copyright: The Diplomatist

The interim agreement signed on November 24, 2013 at Geneva by Iran and the P5+1 and its subsequent operationalisation (January 20, 2014) highlights a remarkable shift the situation surrounding Iran has undergone over the past few months. The agreement is being perceived as a major departure in American policy towards Iran and the region in general. However, close observers would be quick in pointing out that such a shift has been some time in the making. The US move to enter into a dialogue with Tehran has largely been the result of a desire to buy more time to address the concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear programme through verification and roll back any probable progress Iran has made in building a nuclear weapon.

The deal also underscores the US’s endeavour to balance its efforts to push back Tehran’s regional rise on one hand,and build bridges of some kind after a hiatus of over three decades on the other. Taking a bird’s eye-view of the overall geo-political scenario, the move stems from the growing dissonance between US and its allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) on major issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict, Syrian civil war and chemical weapons issue, as well as the handling of the Arab Spring aftermath.

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