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The real work starts now

Faroughi Jamsheed Kommentarbild App
Jamsheed Faroughi
July 14, 2015

The nuclear agreement reached between Iran and its negotiating partners is being touted as "historic." But a lot of work still needs to be done to prevent the deal from soon becoming history, says DW's Jamsheed Faroughi.

Atomgespräche in Wien abgeschlossen
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/H. Neubauer

There is good news and bad news. The good news is that an agreement has finally been reached and it now appears to be perfect. The bad news is that the deal must now be implemented, which is easier said than done.

The main task ahead now is to satisfy even those who have been fundamentally opposed to allowing international diplomacy find a way out of the nuclear standoff with Iran. Unfortunately, these detractors are numerous and omnipresent.

But how was the deal reached? Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner once said: There is either an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran. They are, undoubtedly, two terrible options with unpredictable consequences - not only for Iran, but also for the whole world.

The negotiations in Vienna have now shown that a third way is possible for settling the dispute, and that it entails working patiently and rationally toward a diplomatic solution. Fortunately, that's the path that has been pursued.

Military option rarely solves problems

Although the sanctions imposed on Iran have had an impact, they have failed to resolve the nuclear dispute. Despite the restrictions, hardliners in the country succeeded in advancing the country's nuclear program by installing more centrifuges and producing more enriched uranium.

Deutsche Welle Persische Redaktion Jamsheed Faroughi
DW's Jamsheed FaroughiImage: DW/P. Henriksen

This presented the countries opposing Iran's nuclear program with just two options: either a win-win solution for both sides or a military intervention.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were sobering enough for the world community. These wars proved without a doubt that military interventions create more problems than they solve.

The US invasion of Iraq did not make the world, and especially the region, a safer place. Instead the result has been the opposite. This was also the reason why the success of international diplomacy in the nuclear impasse with Iran was so important.

The list of demands

The negotiations in Vienna were about much more than just the Iranian nuclear program and the suspicions regarding its military use.

The list of unanswered questions became increasingly longer with each round of talks - a development which evolved alongside turbulent events in a region plagued with crisis and instability. In the end, the nuclear talks were a political rather than a technical matter, and this is why mostly foreign ministers sat at the negotiating table.

They argued and bargained over sanctions against Iran, particularly about Teheran's ballistic missile program, lifting the weapons embargo, Iran's role in regional conflicts, the proxy war in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain, and last but not least, Iranian support for radical Islamist groups in the Middle East.

For the people of Iran the talks were about easing and lifting the sanctions which have crippled the economy and put people's health and lives at risk, despite allegedly being "smart and targeted" sanctions.

A Herculean task

It's truly a historic day, a good day not only for the people of Iran but also for those who still believe that conflicts can be solved peacefully.

But that's only one side of the coin, as another major task lies head. It will be very difficult, almost impossible, to convince the Republicans and the Israeli lobby in the United States, the hardliners in Iran and the Saudis to accept the deal.

The US Congress now has 60 days to review the agreement - enough time for its opponents to thwart it. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was the first to speak out against the deal, branded it a "historic mistake for the world." And he is not the only one with this view.

A new chapter in history has been written in Vienna. Now it is up to those involved to make sure the agreement is implemented before it quickly becomes history.