The joint virtual session between the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) was held about international and regional issues on Wednesday, Feb.3 ,2021.
The meeting was attended by Dr.Mohammad KazemSajjadpour, Deputy Minister of MOFA & President of IPIS; Mr.Majid Ghafelebashi, Research Deputy at the Center; Mohammad Taghi Hassani and Kambiz Sheikh Hassani, Senior Experts at IPIS; Mohsen Naziri, President of Department for Non-Proliferation of Chemical Weapons; Hassan Ahmadian, Professor at University of Tehran; and from the other side: Jan Eliasson; Dan Smith, President of SIPRI; Ms.Sibyllebauer, Senior Researcher at SIPRI.
The session was held in the form of two panels, “The Persian Gulf and Arms Control”, “The new US Administration and the Future of the JCPOA”, to answer the following questions: 1) What is the role of the regional and trans-regional powers in the Persian Gulf security and stability? 2) What impacts will the Persian Gulf region’s security have on arms race? 3) What are the impacts of the new US administration on the international issues and arms control mechanism? 4) What impacts will the JCPOA receive from latest developments?
Here are the most important issues touched upon at the session:
- Imbalance in the Middle East region is a key issue. We have been witnessing the destructive US role in the region, because the US ignored Iran’s role as an influential regional actor. However, Iran has always tried to play a constructive role in the regional disputes such as in the Syrian and Yemeni crises. But the approach of other major regional actors such as Saudi Arabia has been, despite Iran, one of wreaking instability and invading the neighbors.
- Certainly the Biden administration will be faced with a host of challenges brought about by Trump’s policies over the last 4 years. The aim of assassinating Iranian scientists by Israel was closing the diplomatic path to Iran, and Europe and the west’s reaction to these assassinations will be key to the upcoming negotiations between Iran and the west.
- Arms control and regional security are intrinsically interwoven. Therefore, reviving the JCPOA can have profound impacts on the Persian Gulf’s security arrangements, considering the importance of the agreement in advancing the non-proliferation strategy.
- The main pillars of the JCPOA are, on one side, lifting Iran’s sanctions, and transparency in Iran’s atomic activities for ascertaining there will be no evasions, on the other side. After the US left the JCPOA and imposed the strictest regime of sanctions ever, Iran complained to the European members of the JCPOA of the breach of the agreement by the US and asked them to take the necessary steps to fulfil their commitments under the agreement. But unfortunately, Europe did nothing in practice and sufficed to political support for the JCPOA.
- Return of the US and its allies to the JCPOA and fully meeting their commitments under the agreement can ever more consolidate regional security and cultivate a new environment for interaction and expansion of cooperation across the region.