‘Iran n-deal done, yet not a time to celebrate’

Beijing: The Tehran nuclear deal has finally been done, yet this is “not a time to celebrate as Iran and the international community should get ready for even tougher tasks to ensure the hard-earned agreement will not die halfway”, China’s official news agency Xinhua has said.

A commentary “Tougher work needs to be done to ensure Iran nuclear deal not half-baked” which ran on Wednesday, a day after the Iran nuclear deal took place, said: “After more than a decade of on-and-off talks, a long-anticipated Iranian nuclear deal has finally come into shape.”

Support TwoCircles

“Yet this is not a time to celebrate as Iran and the international community should get ready for even tougher tasks to ensure the hard-earned agreement will not die halfway,” said the commentary by Xinhua Writer Liu Chang.

It said that Tuesday’s comprehensive deal has demonstrated a strong political will and flexibility of all negotiating parties — Iran on the one hand and the group comprising Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany on the other.

“If the deal could be effectively and loyally implemented, it could go down into the human history as an exceptionally successful example of solving one of the world’s thorniest issues by peaceful and diplomatic means,” it added.

The commentary noted that the international community should stay “sober-minded as the road leading up to an out-and-out settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue is no less challenging than the strenuous negotiating process”.

The first test is whether US President Barack Obama can sell it to a sceptical and uncooperative Republican-controlled Congress when his presidency is already in the countdown and a new cycle of partisan politicking has been well under way.

“One of the key reasons that could motivate the US government to backtrack on the nuclear deal in the future is Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel.”

The commentary went on to say that “what is more vexatious is that Israel, which regards Iran as its arch-foe in the Middle East, does not just curse the deal all the time, but is likely to use every opportunity to sabotage it”.

“However, Israel has to understand that no deal could be perfect. It also has to know that an Iranian nuclear program that operates under verifiable international scrutiny is far better for Israel’s national interests than leaving Tehran’s nuclear activities unregulated or, like what it has suggested, simply resorting to military options to neutralize Iran’s nuclear abilities.”

Xinhua said that Iran also has a lot of “heavy-lifting and political balance to do”.

“With the economic and trade sanctions poised to be removed under the deal, President Hassan Rouhani and his government could begin to rebuild the country’s depressed economy.

“But in Tehran, hardliners are not that easy to be convinced as the Islamic Republic has deep distrust toward Western powers, especially the United States, after decades of confrontation and mutual hostility.”

The commentary said that to help make sure that Iran follows through on the deal, members of the international community, particularly the US and its Western allies, “should make immediate efforts to eliminate suspicion and mistrust toward the country, with the first priority to lay the ground for easing sanctions. Of course, Tehran should also keep its words regarding the accord”.