NI report: 'New Nuclear Normal' will be based on policy of ambiguity
A report by the National Interest highlights how US-Iran nuclear relations are shifting from a need for a renewed JCPOA to a doctrine of nuclear ambiguity.
A new report by the National Interest outlined a new rationale on the Iran-US Nuclear agreement, and explained that the future will not be through a renewed JCPOA, but rather a purposeful ambiguity creating a "new nuclear normal."
"Ambiguity rather than clarity," the report noted, and "intentions rather than capabilities" are at the core of the "period of strategic stability" that both Iran and the US are carefully heading towards.
National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said late in December that the prospects for the JCPOA deal to be renewed are nowhere near sight, citing reasons related to the alleged crackdowns on protesters in Iran.
"We simply don't see a deal coming together anytime soon while Iran continues to kill its own citizens, and selling UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles or drones] to Russia," Kirby said during a press briefing. "Now we don't anticipate any progress anytime in the near future. That's just not our focus."
This comes in the backdrop of a statement made by US President Joe Biden at a political rally in California in early November in which he said that the Iran deal was "dead" and that the issue of reviving it was a matter of a "long story."
Earlier in November, French President Emmanuel Macron noted “I think everyone is conscious of the fact that not talking, not trying to find a new framework on both nuclear and regional issues, weakens everybody and is a factor in increasing confliction.”
The National Interest explained the end of the JCPOA and outlined the potentially "new framework" that could debatably prove more effective than its predecessor.
Nuclear ambuigity: A priority
Opposite to the key objectives of the JCPOA, which as summarized by the National Interest, were to "preempt, prevent, and aggressively monitor the expansion of an Iranian nuclear enrichment capability," the new framework will be based on a mutual, US-Iran embrace of ambiguity of information regarding respective nuclear programs.
According to the report this "cautious development" between the two countries, "rests on a mutual Iranian and American interest to maintain and honor a studied uncertainty" in what regards Iran's nuclear program.
A doctrine of undeclared, potential, imminent, mutual destruction
Between Russia and the US, the report highlighted, there is a doctrine based on an "openly declared nuclear capability, backed by the promise and the opposing arsenals of mutual nuclear destruction."
The report noted similar doctrines as a tool for deterring foreign intervention in places such in as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
As such, the report reinforced that nuclear ambiguity has often been a tool for diplomacy. With regards to the new US-Iran framework, or doctrine of nuclear operation, nuclear ambiguity is set to become "a policy of deliberate uncertainty about Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities" that "helps to diffuse unwelcome pressure by the international community to disarm."
The doctrine does not ignore the issue of uranium enrichment, which was core to the 2015 JCPOA, but rather, the report explained, it "focuses instead on the deliberate decision not to declare the existence of a nuclear weapons capability, either as a deterrent or as a weapon."
This undeclared nuclear weapon capability, however, would "instigate rather than deter armed conflict" if it gets integrated into Iran's military openly and thus ensuring, at the very least, mutual destruction.
The report noted and explained how this doctrine, a new framework, has found its way to become more and more visible since last summer.
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