Saturday, 24 March, 2018

Iran needs to have full and active presence in ‘Global Economy’


By: Abdolreza Ghofrani, Senior International expert 

Over the past couple of weeks and particularly through the past recent days the media reports and news have focused on full lifting of the sanctions on Iran or in better words, the comprehensive implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This week Tehran hosted the Asian and Pacific high ranking statesmen. The author was writing this memo when Indian Prime Minister and Afghanistan President were the guests of the Iranian Government for important trade and economic issues of mutual interest and signing cooperation instruments. Few days earlier New Zealand Foreign Minister and Croatian President were here in Tehran for the same purposes.

Interestingly, all top ranking guests of Iranian government point to and reaffirm the economic and trade relations with Iran.US Secretary of States John Kerry, simultaneously, on several occasions, in his discussions with Iran Foreign Minister Dr.Javad Zarif and other European top officials, time and again referring to the requisite of trade and economic relations with Iran, has assured them that they had not to have any concerns, whatsoever, of being punished and fined for working with Iran. Though US top diplomat assurances apparently so optimistic and positive, actually over the several months since the agreement reached no serious noticeable actions have taken by his government. So only void assurances do not work and naturally deeds are indispensible; actually the present trend cannot persist for a long running. Because this approach does not imply the real will of action on the part of United States.

Most of visiting dignitaries now and those who will visit Iran in coming weeks and months, most probably, have this opinion in common that economically and as far as trade is concerned; Iran does have a pivotal position in the region and potentially can give momentum to advancing the region and global economics. Many of those countries have had and still have strong and flourishing economic and trade relations with Tehran. Some of them, however, have still their observations, or in better words, given their considerations of relations with United States, take precautions to avoid punishments and fines

As earlier noted, this cannot take long and therefore a pressing forceful and serious action will be unavoidable if a concrete result is expected. Because time is running short and the patience cannot be limitless. In this process, however, Iran participation, as a powerful country of the region, in international economy is a significant factor which has been so far overlooked by the United States. This author, time and again, has emphatically reiterated the indispensability and quick accession of Iran to this world economic body. Now it is quite obvious that many member countries of this organization, not being as economically and technically strong as Iran and do not enjoy vast  natural resources as Iran does ,have been members of WTO for years and even decades. Ironically, through the past couple of months there have been some of those countries which have gained full membership. Unfortunately Iran is still in the waiting for full accession. At present, the question is as to why this does not happen? As far as the prerequisites and qualifications for membership are concerned, it is now seventeen years that Iran has submitted “trade regime instrument” to WTO which is the essential document the world body needs. Interestingly, many questions about this document have been asked so far by other member countries to all of which Iran has given appropriate answers. Moreover, influential European countries have reinstated the requisite of Iran membership to the organization. Having said all this, then what is the problem? What is the obstacle to do this? Who is or who are the countries that is responsible for obstruction this process?

Isn’t one of the essential goals of WTO promoting global trade and economy and advancing the development and growth of all countries of the world with full and active participation of the members?  Doesn’t Iran have a critical and significant role in this sensitive region? And again, with active and full presence in economic development of Western and Central Asia, cannot Iran play an important role that eventually serves the global economic benefits!?

India and China, being two Asian economic powers, have had strong and vast economic relations with Iran and it is expected that these ties grow in the future. Far Eastern nations such as Japan and South Korea has had extended their relations with us for decades. Europeans, too, have enjoyed their traditional extensive trade relations with this Western Asian economic power. All these countries are among the powerful members of World Trade organization, having the big share of global production and trade. All the said countries, in spite of the unreasoned and illogical restrictions imposed by the United States, has so far had the utmost relations with Iran, and certainly given the new global developments; those relations are expected to further outspread. Certainly in this course, we dare to say that unless the United States gives up the restricted ,inflexible and imposing policies particularly in economic relations, it is merely this country  that will be isolated and of course loser. Undoubtedly, those US policies, particularly hindering Iran accession to World Trade Organization, cannot but slowing down the regional and eventual global economic relations. At present Iran is the full member of most all world economic bodies and has acted in line with their prevailing principles and policies. Absolutely with full membership to WTO, Iran will take the same approach. United States, however, should not lose sight of the fact that the policies it has so far pursued will no longer works out and are admittedly obsolete and out dated. Moreover, decision makers in Washington need to bear in mind that global developments are gaining momentum and certainly World Trade Organization cannot be excluded from this process. Because more economic powers will emerge in WTO and decision makings will not be limited merely to US and a few economic powers in this global body. It is, therefore, worthy that we all accept the international realities and act in the way attuned to those realities .For, thus this will serve the interests of all.


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