On April 2nd in Switzerland, six countries, together with the EU and Iran, reached a framework solution on the key issues concerning the Iranian nuclear issue. This solution shows the consensus that has been reached by the related parties on the key issues: respect for Iranian right to use nuclear technology peacefully, limits to Iran’s capability to use nuclear technology for military purposes, and a lift of sanctions against Iran. It clears away the major obstacles and lays a solid foundation for the final overall deal at the end of June this year.
The framework agreement is in favor of maintenance of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, maintenance of stability in the Middle East, and is a good example in resolving the international dispute through political talks. It meets the common interests of the international community. U.S. president Obama called it a “historic good deal,” which realizes the U.S.’s goals. And it is also the “biggest gain” for the Obama administration in resolving regional conflict through diplomatic means. Iran is glad for the lifting of long-term sanction, believing this is a big step toward the eventual solution of the Iranian nuclear issue. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was on the phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi once the announcement of the agreement was made. He appreciated China’s positive and constructive efforts in making a deal. Chinese efforts and wisdom during each stage of talks is highly appreciated by all parties involved.
In less than three months, an overall deal on Iran nuclear capabilities must be reached. The talks are at a critical stage, with complexities and variables. There are a number of stakeholders on the Iran nuclear issue. First, Israel, for its absolute security, does not want to allow Iran to have any nuclear potential. Israel may continue to frustrate the deal. Secondly, the GCC Arab countries fear that Iran would have more capital and strength to dominate the Middle East once the sanction against Iran is lifted, and that would affect GCC countries’ core interests. It is reported that one of the aggressive measures taken by Saudi Arabia would be to become a nuclear power, which might be realized just overnight. Saudi Arabia seems to seriously think about taking steps towards this goal. Thirdly, the U.S. has internal conflicts on the direction of Iran nuclear issue. The Republican Party, now dominating the Congress, continues to criticize the U.S. State Department on the Iran nuclear talks.
It was not easy to reach the agreement to this point, and thanks must be extended to the joint efforts of all parties. China, as an important party in the talks, insists on the maintenance of an international nuclear non-proliferation regime and promotion of regional peace and stability, advocates to resolve issues peacefully by talks through diplomatic efforts, urges related parties to adopt feasible and practical attitudes and demonstrate their diplomatic wisdom, thus pushing the talks along the right path. During the talks, China made efforts to find and collect positive aspects of all the stakeholders, thus forming its own proposal to resolve the issues. At the difficult stage of talks, China presented, for several times, its constructive proposals, contributing Chinese programs and Chinese wisdom to the talks, continuously pushing the talks toward the positive direction. The proposals and opinions raised by China received the great attention of other parties in the talks.
In spite of many difficulties in current talks, the final overall Iran nuclear deal, once reached, will be a landmark in reshaping the landscape of Middle East situation. If the agreement is fully implemented, Iran’s nuclear program will be strictly restricted, and all its ways to produce nuclear weapons will be cut off. Iran also will face more inspections of its existing nuclear facilities. Meanwhile, Iran will be free from the UN and Security Council’s sanctions.
I believe that since the U.S. is shifting its focus to Asia Pacific, it no longer regards Iran as an important, regional geopolitical threat to U.S. Through “icebreaking” political communications between U.S. and Iran in the past two years, the U.S. has considered Iran as a responsible and critical regional power to rely on to curb the terrorist forces in the region. As some experts have pointed out, the change of U.S. strategic cognition is just like that forty years ago, when the U.S. stopped regarding Egypt as a regional ally of the Soviet Union, but instead as a potential U.S. ally. In this way, the U.S. helped promote a separate reconciliation between Egypt and Israel.
To prevent any failure in the talks and keep all parties firm and persistent, China has presented its proposition. On the detailed technical issues related to talks, China advocates that the parties should not only focus on professional support, but should seize the crux of issue –the political security of Iran. The related parties should enhance political guidance, and make political decisions properly. On the forms of talks, China suggested that all parties should persist in the principle of a step-by-step and reciprocity approach. They should realize that the solution of the issue cannot be made overnight and each party should persist in talks with their corresponding responsibility and obligation. Considering the fact that the several remaining key issues are all interrelated in reality, China suggested all parties display creative thinking and to take a package solution into consideration.
The Iran nuclear talks toward peace tests each party’s baseline and political composure. Twelve years are likes a long sleepless night, and now we see the first light of dawn for peace. All parties of the talks should cherish what has been achieved, seize the opportunity, strive together to resolve Iran nuclear issue fully and early, thus contribute to the maintenance of international nuclear non-proliferation regime and promotion of regional peace and stability.