Iran needs to build trust before aspiring for deals
It was a sweet deal for the rogue nation. No one is fooled by the pretentious moderate leadership of Hassan Rouhani in Iran, at least not anyone in the region. The leadership and the governments here are well aware of the hegemonic intentions of the country whose foreign policy is driven aggressively by a desire to reshape the Middle East. Since the revolution in 1979, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has covertly invested its energies and resources in creating proxies and spies that feed into this desire. Its cloak-and-dagger approach, meddling in the domestic affairs of neighbouring nations have stoked violence and created unrest. Iranian footprint can be seen everywhere. Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, rebels in Syria, the Abdali cell in Kuwait, anti-social elements in Bahrain - all have been empowered and duly supported by the Iranian regime. Why and how can one trust such a regime? Controlling and monitoring the proliferation or development of its nuclear programme is simply a part of the larger picture, not a solution in entirety. The deal of 2015 failed to address core issues and left the region vulnerable. US President Donald Trump is right in naming and shaming Iran on international platforms and decertifying the deal. His decision surely sends an important message.
The United Nations Security Council had imposed sanctions on Iran in 2006 following reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran was non-compliant to its safeguards agreement under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The resource-dependent country was crippled as restrictions on oil and gas exports brought it to its knees. The US was in a strong position to drive a hard bargain, but it relented under its suave leader. Strong-arm tactics work. In fact, it is the only tool of resort when trust is elusive. Iran is a valuable player in the region but it means nothing in the absence of trust. Tehran should play fair and by the rules for countries in the region to work together for peace and stability and good-neighbourliness.