As Iran and members of P5+1 move closer in signing a nuclear accord with Iran, the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is paramount in monitoring and verifying Iran’s commitments and obligations. According this analysis, “the fact sheet released by the US State Department regarding the Plan of Action places the agency squarely in charge of verification, calling for the agency to, inter alia: have access to both declared and undeclared facilities through Iran’s implementation of an Additional Protocol; provide “continuous” monitoring of the removal and storage of centrifuges; investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert facilities anywhere in the country; and continue its investigation into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program…..The agency is the only international, technical organization capable of this kind of nuclear stock-taking and verification, and it possesses experience in dealing with extraordinary situations—witness its roles in South Africa and Iraq.”
The latest U.S. intelligence report for Iraq points to an interesting geopolitical development between Iran and the United States in Iraq. According to reports, “the elite Iranian forces backing Shia militias have been ordered not to attack the Americans.” One official familiar with the situation in Iraq told reporters that “They [ Iranians ] are not going after Americans…They want the nuclear talks to succeed and an incident between our guys and their guys would not be good for those talks.” Iranian special forces were on the ground fighting ISIS before the United States and its allies launched their bombing campaign. Iran cannot afford to see Iraq fall to ISIS terrorists. Intervening in Iraq was not a choice, but a necessity for Iran.
As ISIS forces continue to undermine regional security and Iraq’s territorial integrity, only one country has the influence and capability to defeat ISIS. Roger Cohen of the New York Times puts this way: “ISIS is a barbarous, shared enemy whose rollback becomes immeasurably more challenging in the absence of American-Iranian understanding. Allies need not be friends, as the Soviet role in defeating Hitler demonstrated. President Obama’s war against ISIS makes war with Iran more unthinkable than ever. Absent a “comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful,” in the words of last year’s accord, the drumbeat for such a war would almost certainly resume. From Jerusalem to Washington countless drummers are ready.”
Two officials served in different capacities during the American occupation of Iraq have provided a painful story of how American occupation and imprisonment policies radicalized a large number of people in Iraq. “Simply being a “suspicious looking” military-aged male in the vicinity of an attack was enough to land one behind bars. There were 26,000 detainees at the height of the war, and over 100,000 individuals passed through the gates of Camps Bucca, Cropper and Taji. Quite a few were dangerous insurgents; many others were innocent.”
As if the problems of ISIS in Iraq was not enough for Iran on its western border, as well as the potential implosion of Afghanistan on Iran’s eastern border, another major country is facing serious internal problems: Pakistan. Protestors are demanding the resignation of of its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and the military in Pakistan is watching the turmoil carefully.
This makes Iran the most stable country in a region experiencing major instability from Syria to Pakistan.