In more optimistic perspectives, the recent interim agreement is at least better than the stagnation of the status quo and far better than the militaristic alternative. Could Iran be a sheep in wolf’s clothing? Perhaps. This interim agreement is designed to reveal Iran’s intentions by putting them to the test. Could this agreement fall apart? Yes. That possibility is precisely why this agreement is designed as an interim agreement rather than a full comprehensive agreement. If the deal falls apart, could it lead to further regional destabilization. Yes. Would that be dangerous for the oligarchs in control of the region? Yes. Would that be dangerous for the regional revolutionaries? It could be but not any more dangerous than the status quo.
It seems that the choices before the international community are to start the comprehensive work towards the promise of the NPT, live with the status quo or attempt to bomb our way to security. It should be recognized that Iran remains a member of the NPT unlike North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel. Although deeply mistrusted, Iran remains a part of the NPT and is currently compliant with IAEA inspections, while North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel have not only shirked inspections from the IAEA but Korea, India and Pakistan have not respected the global moratorium on testing while Israel hides and denies its rather significant nuclear weapons stockpile.
This interim agreement breaks the status quo, avoids a catastrophic militaristic alternative and begins to probe Iran’s commitment to the NPT. Could it fail? Of course, it could. The potential of a failed agreement, however, is less dangerous than the status quo and that of the certainty of failure in a militaristic response. Although diplomacy has the potential for failure, it is also pregnant with the potential for stabilizing the region, ushering in the possibility of a WMD-Free Middle East Zone and securing peace.
Tammy Murphy, Executive Director of Project for Nuclear Awareness