Tehran- The year 2021 has turned its pages on the impact of continuing tension between Iran and the West, mutual threats, the stalled negotiations of the Iranian nuclear file, and images of military maneuvers announced by Iran on the one hand, and its opponents on the other.
According to experts and analysts, 2022 will be a fateful year in Iran’s contemporary history, because this year will determine the outcome of 18 years of negotiations between Tehran and Western powers over its nuclear program, which is at a crossroads.
In this report, Al Jazeera Net met with Iranian political and economic experts, who talked about two scenarios that Iran has become aware of in the new year.
When did Iran’s nuclear program start? And when did Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the West begin?
Iran’s nuclear program began in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the “Atoms for Peace” program, and in 1958 Iran became a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and in 1968 signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). (NPT)”, and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran was established in 1974.
– The Islamic Republic entered into negotiations for the first time with the European Troika (Britain, France and Germany) in October 2003 in Tehran, and then held many talks with major world powers (the so-called “5+1” countries), which include the five permanent members of the The UN Security Council and Germany.
Most of the progress in nuclear talks between Iran and world powers occurred after the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani’s government in August 2013 and the change of the nuclear negotiating team, the most important of which led to the 2015 nuclear agreement.
After the United States withdrew from the nuclear agreement in May 2018, talks continued between the world powers and Iran to revive this agreement, which marked the eighth round of talks in Vienna recently.
What are the benefits of Iran’s nuclear program?
In addition to generating electricity, nuclear technology can be used in many fields. According to the former head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Authority, Ali Akbar Salehi, nuclear energy in Iran has recorded 133 achievements in the fields of industry, health and agriculture.
Salehi pointed out that nuclear energy has improved Iran’s ability in the areas of agricultural and animal production and aquaculture using nuclear technology so that it does not suffer from pests and waste, and achieve high productivity in these sectors.
This industry also includes products, such as radioactive pharmaceuticals, and in addition this technology is used in laboratories, in the production of vaccines, as well as in water desalination.
What are the costs and losses of Iran’s nuclear program?
It is almost impossible to make an accurate calculation of the impact of sanctions on the Iranian economy because of their direct, indirect and long-term effects, and all that has been published about the impact of sanctions on the Iranian economy are estimates that express different numbers depending on the source and method of calculation.
– The former head of the Nuclear Energy Authority, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced last April in a television interview that with an accurate calculation from 1991 to 2019, about $7.5 billion was spent on nuclear energy and production.
– Former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said at the end of 2019 that sanctions deprived his country of about $200 billion in 2018 and 2019.
The former Minister of Roads, Abbas Akhondi, indicated at the beginning of the current Iranian year that circumventing the sanctions is costly, and he spoke that it has cost the Iranian economy between 300 and 400 billion dollars over the past 16 years.
However, some economic and political experts believe that US sanctions have cost Iran nearly a thousand billion dollars since the beginning of the Iranian revolution in 1979 until now.
What are the effects of Iran’s arrival or non-attainment of the nuclear agreement in Vienna on the domestic policy environment as well as on Iran’s foreign policy sphere?
Dr. Ali Baghdali, a political analyst and international relations expert, believes that Iran has not been subjected to great economic pressures since the beginning of the revolution until now, as it has recently.
Bigdley told Al Jazeera Net, “We are now in a very difficult economic situation, and therefore Iran is retracting moment by moment its decisions in Vienna, and this indicates that it has reached an irreversible point, and it must solve this problem in any way.”
He added that if Iran did not reach an agreement, it would face strong internal reactions, and considered that his country “is ready for the emergence of societal uprisings. In addition, Iran will be reprimanded internationally, and it should look inside its borders instead of focusing on outside the borders.”
What changes will the outcome of the nuclear talks bring to Iran’s economic structure?
The Iranian Chamber of Commerce Research Center has developed a road map based on two scenarios for agreement with major powers or not, and made Iran’s exit from the economic crisis conditional on Iran’s withdrawal from the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), because this issue is so critical that it Even if sanctions are lifted completely, they could create devastating restrictions on Iran’s foreign trade.
It is the most optimistic, and it is represented by the parties reaching a comprehensive agreement, and even if that is not reached, we will see a limited and temporary agreement that will only allow the sale of oil and transfer its revenues to the country, and the uncertainty and risk in the Iranian economy on the international scene will not change.
The other scenario is the continuation of sanctions, which means the continued decline in the flow of foreign exchange to the country and the reduction of government resources as well as the ability to import, which will exacerbate economic problems by reducing oil exports and disrupting foreign financial transactions, insurance and transportation.
What role does the outcome of negotiations play on Iranian society? How are Iranians affected by it?
Dr. Ahmad Bukharai, sociologist and head of the Social Issues Group at the Iranian Society of Sociology believes that agreement is a broad term and there will be no real agreement between Iran and the United States and the West, given the existence of a series of ingrained religious and ideological animosities and contradictions, Iran will not abandon its ideology and the other party will not be on Willingness to back down.
Bukhaari added to Al Jazeera Net, “If Iran and the West reach an agreement, it is just a window for breathing and survival, and there will be no agreement that leads to growth and development in it,” considering that this will lead to the continuation of popular protests and the desire to emigrate and lose hope in the country’s future, and divorce and drugs will become more prevalent, and this They are all interconnected circuits.
What is the impact of the results of the nuclear talks on the countries of the region, especially the countries with Iranian influence such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen?
Ali Bigdali believes that Iran, perhaps due to economic problems, is gradually losing its influence in the region, and that the recent Iraqi elections showed that Iranian-backed groups are rapidly losing strength and influence, and we have the same thing in Syria, and this country provides space to return to the Arab world, and this requires that Syria reduce its relations with Iran.
Bigdley concluded his conversation with Al Jazeera Net that we are witnessing resentment in Lebanon, and Iran is no longer able to provide economic and military aid to the Houthis in Yemen, and it must know that it is not possible to reach an understanding with Saudi Arabia without ending negotiations and controlling the nuclear file.