Seven months to soothe Iran’s suspicious neighbors

Israel’s claim that Iran has secretly been engaged making a nuclear bomb is no longer a valid accusation

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

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In the hours before the Iranian nuclear talks deadline last week, it was increasingly difficult for the journalists on the ground – including myself – to piece together the story. Many reporters relied upon sideline briefings to cobble together information.

For the first time since the revolution in Iran and the U.S. hostage crisis in 1981, the two nations have found common goals based on regional cooperation.

This leads to the needs for success in foreign policy to justify the effort both sides are exerting in promoting diplomatic relations.

The 35-years of differences between the two countries cannot be melted like snow in the sun

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Iran’s interim nuclear deal was extended for another seven months until end of June 2015. No clear information was provided on the reasons behind the extension.

Progressive and positive

Iran’s and the U.S.’s Foreign Ministers Kerry and Zarif both acknowledged that there are still some issues which need to be addressed, however they described the meetings as progressive and positive.

Perhaps the secrecy of the talks and the resistance to disclosing details was important to Iran and the U.S. as any leaked information could alarm the U.S.’s ally Israel.

For Israel and its current Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyaho, Iran is more dangerous than Hamas or Hezbollah in Lebanon and seeing its strategic partner- United States- getting close to Iran is almost intolerable.

Israel’s claim that Iran has secretly been engaged making a nuclear bomb is no longer a valid accusation and is not accepted by the U.S. as Secretary of the State John Kerry said in Vienna; “Today the world is safer becauseIran halted its nuclear program.” The Unites States is convinced that Iran’s nuclear program is no longer a global threat -as it was - and now the remaining issues are not jeopardizing the talks in general.

If this is what the U.S. believes is at the core of its discussion with Iran, then solving the issue is not out of reach. It seems we should believe that all the technical issues have been settled and the outstanding issues could be political.


The shockwaves the nuclear deal could cause would be as dangerous as the explosion of a nuclear bomb. To prevent against negative backlash by the U.S.’s allies, any success must not be framed as a victory or triumphal event.

The 35-years of differences between the two countries cannot be melted like snow in the sun. Long years of frosty relations have compressed the snow into an iceberg which will take much effort to melt.

Consequently, it is understandable why the details of the talks have not yet been revealed to the media or may other negotiating counterparts of the P5+1 ( five permanent members of the U.S. Security Council plus Germany).

Buying time

Mohammad Javad Zarif and John Kerry each separately confirmed that the details of their two by two bilateral meetings have not even been revealed to their assistants. Simply, it seems like they are just trying to buy time.

The recent Vienna talks were in preparation for reaching a final comprehensive deal and also tested the water.

The test shows that the ground wasn’t yet ready for the deal with Iran since the nervous Israelis and other U.S. regional allies showed extreme reactions and caution to the possible comprehensive deal.

These reactions seem to be based on “Iranophobia.” Images from the revolution still flood our TV screens and some tensions remain unsettled.

The next seven months is enough to prepare the U.S.’s newly elected Congress for the deal. The U.S.’s international allies and nervous countries in the Middle East will also need to be prepared for the final nuclear deal.


Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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