92 years ago, Lausanne witnessed the ceasing of conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies (Entente Powers) and has reclaimed it’s historical importance of providing new opportunities for building global peace. On April 2nd, 2015, the representative of P5+1 and Iran released a statement following their initial agreement on the framework of the future treaty regarding the issue of Iran’s nuclear enhancement. They may have only managed to agree on a few general but fundamental guidelines that will represent the core of the final accord, expected to be finalized at end of June. But with these decisions, according to the Statement of the National Security Network, they demonstrated the capacity to take “a responsible approach to the negotiations and have reached a deal that will ensure the peaceful and civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear program”.
This prospective and comprehensive agreement that aims to shape the future of the Iran’s nuclear programme constitutes an important development for the international peace building efforts in the Middle East, a region devastated by wars and violence. Considering the latest IAEA report from February 2015 that “stressed the need to resolve all outstanding issues related to Iran’s Nuclear programme”, the positive conclusion of the Lausanne’s negotiations confirms the maturity of both parties to achieve peace through means other than conflict. Dynamic shifts in the Middle East’s geopolitics have unveiled tremendous humanitarian crisis’ in Yemen and Syria as a result of the recent military confrontations and the continuation of ISIS’s threat. By reaching a win-win agreement with Iran, a fossil-fuel superpower “possessing more than 10% of the world’s total proven oil reserves, 15% of its natural gas reserves, and 1.9 billion short-tonnes of coal reserves”, P5+1’s diplomats hope to reduce additional danger represented by it’s potential for constructing uranium and plutonium-based nuclear weapons.
In order to overcome the fears of observing Iran seeking regional nuclear hegemony, the UN Security Council’s permanent members, together with Germany, understood the need for building mutual trust that would serve the legitimate interests of all parties involved. Thus, the key points of the agreement’s framework followed the quid pro quo philosophy, as Iran agreed to reduce its installed centrifuges by two thirds from “19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with only 5,060 of these enriching uranium for 10 years.” This will work in conjunction with the UN, US and EU suspending all nuclear-related sanctions if Iran fulfills its engagements.
Brendan Smialowski from the International Crisis Group described this achievement to be “fragile, as the forces against it are formidable”, but “a triumph of multilateral diplomacy and a testament to the seriousness of purpose, patience and persistence of the negotiators involved in this process”. It is definitely a great opportunity with significant outcomes for both parties, as it creates a precedent of building global peace through a regime of non-proliferation and positive commitment.