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N-deal between Iran and the West could change world politics

The talks with Iran over its nuclear programme are perhaps one of the greatest tests for Obama. A deal could also bring greater peace to the region and change the course of world politics.

comment Updated: Nov 20, 2013 23:22 IST

For decades Iran has been the bad boy for the West. The antics of its leaders in public coupled with its nuclear ambitions have not earned it many friends. But since June, when Hassan Rouhani was elected president, there have been changes in this outlook.

The earlier round of talks, to put a tab on Iran's nuclear programme, held in Geneva, between the West and Iran missed an agreement after France scuttled the deal at the last minute.

While differences continue among the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain, and Germany) and Iran, leaders like US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have made the right moves: Mr Obama has stuck his neck out to stress the need for talks and the easing of sanctions, while Mr Cameron called up Mr Rouhani (a first in a decade by a British PM) to 'address concerns on both sides on the nuclear issue'.

Given this, it is not in the best interests of anyone to further impose sanctions on Tehran. The loosening of sanctions would mean that Tehran has more flexibility with its trade on gold and oil, which is good news for New Delhi.

Naftali Bennett, Israel's economy and commerce minister and leader of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home Party, said a few days ago that Iran was six weeks away from enriching weapons-grade uranium.

The fear of nuclear proliferation is not without merit but what about nations that have nuclear weapons acquired under the table, like Pakistan or North Korea?

Douglas MacKinnon, a former White House and Pentagon official, has rightly asked, in a Fox News op-ed: "Are we endangering our own safety and that of Israel by over-exaggerating the nuclear threat posed by Iran while drastically under-estimating the growing threat posed by Pakistan?"

There is a need for international pressure and scrutiny on Islamabad for its clandestine nuclear dealings. This is the clear and present danger - more than the likelihood of Iran's plans.

The talks with Iran are perhaps one of the greatest tests for Obama. A deal could also bring greater peace to the region and change the course of world politics.