HARDLY A week to go before the deadline to strike a permanent nuclear deal between Iran and the Six-nation group comes to an end, there is silence all around.
Nothing has been heard from Vienna — the theatre of activity, nor from the buzzing capitals of Washington and Tehran. The last major political development in this regard was a letter that was reportedly written by US President Barack Obama to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei eliciting him to work in close coordination with the West in fighting the ISIS and urging him to seal a deal on enrichment.
Though the so-called secret correspondence has not been denied from either of the capitals, there is substance to believe that emissaries might be working behind the curtains to achieve the desired results. The thorniest problems, however, are in need of being sorted out and the European Union and Russia can play an active role in forcing the US and Iran to travel the extra mile to clinch a deal. All said and done, it won’t be a piece of cake for either parties, and it is understandable that tough decisions concerning geostrategic realities in the Middle East and security issues have to be made in real time. In doing so, Washington and Tehran should take the regional stakeholders and allies into confidence so that the hard-earned deal doesn’t land in a quagmire of suspicion and mistrust. The Gulf and Arab countries’ concerns have to be taken into consideration while inking an agreement. This is indispensable to make it a success in the long run.–KT