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Lifting of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program will affect Ukraine as energy transit country, Ukrainian expert says

Ruslan Bortnik. Photo: uiamp.org.ua

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Germany have come to an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. The powers have agreed on a historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. This requirement will produce comprehensive lifting of the sanctions against Iran.EADaily talked to Ruslan Bortnik, a Ukrainian political analyst, about the situation with Iran. 

Iran and P5+1 have come to an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. Earlier, EU promised to freeze the sanctions against Iran until the powers agree on their comprehensive lifting by the end of the year. 

- So far, it is necessary to take a cautious attitude towards the issue, despite all statements that have been made. The agreement is yet to be implemented, which is a very complicated process. It is a comprehensive agreement and its implementation is associated with many response actions i.e. Europe and the United States will be gradually lifting sanctions as Iran will be gradually giving their inspectors access to its nuclear facilities. 

Geopolitically, such softening of differences over Iran is necessary to everyone: Europe, U.S., and Russia. The interests of the super powers have converged, and the talks proved positive and resulted in a comprehensive agreement.  U.S. seeks access to cheap energy resources.  As situation in Iraq and Lybia is getting tense and more and more territories are being seized tangibly impeding the United States’ access to energy resources, Washington seeks a certain zone of stability in the region. Both U.S. and Russia can consider Iran as an instrument of fighting radical Islam. 

Perhaps, Europe has the same triggers for the agreement over Iran, as there are too many hot spots in the Middle East. Normalization of the relations with Iran can become one of the highlights for further economic development and stabilization of the global economy, as well as for political fight against the radical Islamists in Asia. Obviously, neither Turkey nor Egypt is able to fight the radicals on its own any longer. In this light, normalization of the relations with Iran is a good omen.

Furthermore, Iranian markets will reopen, which is a win-win deal for everyone: starting from the U.S. oil companies that supply huge lots of equipment for oil and gas recovery to Iran up to the Russian companies that supply arms. Therefore, the talks were quite positive, though, it appears to me that there are still many risks, as the parties do not trust each other and the agreement contains many reservations.  

Do you anticipate any new wave in the global political reality after the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program and the summits of SCO and BRICS?

- Certainly, if the agreement is implemented, Iran will be brought out of the political isolation, despite the increasing influence of the West  - anyway, the West will not get a crucial  influence on Tehran, and Iran will become much freer and its role in the global politics will increase too. In addition, I anticipate Iran to work more actively towards SCO and BRICS, Asia and Russia, as both China and Russia are the key partners for Iran now. 

Will it affect Ukraine’s policy, considering that Iran is keen to integrate into SCO and BRICS, not the West? 

- Export of Iran’s inexpensive energy products to Europe may oust Ukraine from the market and affect Kiev’s positions of a transit country. In addition, if political agreements are achieved around Iran, and Russia has a constructive role in it, Ukraine may face the Palestinian scenario of the settlement in Donbass. The deal on the Iranian nuclear program may become a positive precedent for settlement of political differences between the West and the East, which will create new conditions for political settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. 

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