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The Arduous Path to Restoring the Iran Nuclear Deal
The Arduous Path to Restoring the Iran Nuclear Deal
President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani and President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan hold a joint press conference following their meeting, at Presidential Complex, in Ankara, Turkey on 16 April, 2016. AFP/Rasit Aydoga

土耳其和伊朗:为友难释嫌,知敌如知己

土耳其和伊朗一直以来都在中东地区维持着和平的对抗局势,然而在伊拉克和叙利亚爆发的新摩擦则对此造成了威胁。为了重建信任和避免正面冲突,土耳其和伊朗应努力协调、化解冲突、交换情报、并委派代表在两国领导人间开辟一条新的沟通渠道。

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概述

近两个世纪以来,尽管在黎凡特到伊拉克和高加索地区都发生了激烈的地缘政治冲突,但土耳其和伊朗两国之间却一直和平相处,各自发展着能源产业和商业网络,甚至在利益相符时展开了区域性合作。然而今天,无论土耳其和伊朗两国的经济愈加交织渗透,但在伊拉克和叙利亚问题上的核心利益仍然存在着深刻的分歧,而这也让两个昔日的帝国日益靠近冲突的边缘。重新调整两国关系至关重要、且尚未晚矣,但扭转局势的必要条件则是土耳其和伊朗必须从中意识到各自的根本利益,并采取措施来和平地管控分歧,而这恰恰也是两国延续了近两个世纪的相处之道。

恰似硬币的两面,土耳其和伊朗在民族和文化上有重叠之处。但伊朗是什叶派穆斯林和政教合一体制的区域领导,而土耳其的世俗宪法则是建立在逊尼派伊斯兰教实践的基础上。正如两国官员和外交官所证实的,土耳其和伊朗长久以来和平共处,两国就其应精心维护这段紧密关系已有共识。然而,自2011年动荡席卷中东和北非地区后,伊拉克和叙利亚问题亦使得土耳其和伊朗之间的摩擦升级。这是因为伊拉克和叙利亚对伊朗和土耳其都具有重要的意义,且双方都将彼此在该问题上的行动视为敌意。这种无法彼此谅解包容的态度或会破坏甚至摧毁土耳其和伊朗之间的重要纽带。  

土耳其和伊朗在摩苏尔、塔勒阿法尔、阿勒颇和拉卡战场上均有各自授权的合作方或地方势力,且都在全力地助其巩固实力,以便在战后夺得掌控权。虽然土耳其和伊朗都试图巩固双方共同利益——打败或至少边缘化伊斯兰国,并遏制主张自治的叙利亚库尔德人崛起——但彼此都深深怀疑对方有浑水摸鱼之私,因而在缓解冲突一事上都原地踱步。两国行为恰恰加深了宗派紧张局势,并导致了更多伤亡、地区局势愈加动荡,且在土伊两国势力交叉范围内有意或无意引发直接武装冲突的风险也随之上升。土耳其方面称,2016年11月24日,一架伊朗制造的无人机在叙利亚北部杀害了四名土耳其士兵,若情况属实,这将导致危机局势的进一步升级。

为了扭转局势,避免恶化,土耳其和伊朗应克服彼此之间的猜忌。有鉴于此,当务之急是在两国间建立一个超越区域立场之上的、持续畅通的高层谈判通道。然而,协商会议的排期却一直存在问题:一至两天的高层周期性会晤之后就是相对长期的外交真空,在此期间,双方的代理势力还争端不断、升级冲突。因此,土耳其总统和伊朗最高领导人——雷德普•塔伊普•埃尔多安和阿里•哈梅内伊——则应特派个人代表,并管理两国的外交渠道。

在此基础上,双方领导人如要表达诚意和善意,应敦促土耳其和伊朗政府采取措施,建立互信,展开从情报协作到缓解紧急冲突等各方面的合作。在伊拉克北部,伊朗可以首先表态,主动约束部署在尼尼微省的什叶派民兵——名义上该武装力量的总司令虽是伊拉克总理——以换取土耳其撤回该地区的坦克和其他重型武器。建立互信的措施如落实得当,则可以为达成以下共识而铺平道路:建立友好睦邻关系、承认彼此在该地区的核心利益和合理的安全考虑、并明确划分红线以规范彼此的敌对行为。

美国和俄罗斯分别与土耳其和伊朗建立了紧密的军事联系,虽在具体局势中美俄存在意见分歧和利益冲突,但双方应支持土伊两国进行上述的合作举措。目前,土耳其和伊朗仍然陷在俄美角力的泥沼中,并在努力为自主决策创造空间;而唯有土伊联手,彼此才有可能找到独立决策的出路。

缓解局势,加强土伊合作是十分必要的,但若仅限于此,这将不足以解决其地区内——极具扩散性和交叉性的、涉及多方利害关系的、以及宗派情绪日益高涨——的危机。通向和解的路途必将困难重重——两国的大选日程、国内政治局势的压力、区域合作方对两国和解态度谨慎等因素都可能阻碍和解进程。尽管如此,必要的努力仍具有重大意义,且应全力争取,至少这些努力可帮助缓解——由双方领导层的言辞不利而煽动起来的——宗派紧张局势。

唯有双方达成共识,土耳其和伊朗才能创造一个更稳定安全的区域局势。另一解决方案则是伊朗与地区内另一逊尼派主要势力——沙特阿拉伯——进行零和博弈,而这则将意味着更多的混乱和痛苦。

伊斯坦布尔/德黑兰/布鲁塞尔,2016年12月13日

The Arduous Path to Restoring the Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published in Arms Control Association

A change in U.S. administrations brought with it something rare in the often-acrimonious relationship between Washington and Tehran: a point of agreement. Nearly three years after President Donald Trump unilaterally exited the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), both sides concur on the need to restore core elements of the deal that have been sorely tested since: strict restrictions on and rigorous monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Yet, the shared strategic imperative of full mutual compliance remains out of reach so long as a tactical deadlock continues on how to achieve it.

An explanation of the convergence of U.S. and Iranian interest in reviving the 2015 agreement begins with a stocktaking of the state of play inherited by President Joe Biden in January 2021. Under Trump, the United States abandoned the JCPOA in favor of a “maximum pressure” strategy defined by a sweeping deployment of unilateral sanctions and a broad set of accompanying demands on further restricting Iran’s nuclear activity, halting its ballistic missile development, and containing its regional influence.[fn]“After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy,” The Heritage Foundation, May 21, 2018, https://www.heritage.org/defense/event/after-the-deal-new-iran-strategy.Hide Footnote The financial impact on Iran has been substantial, with the World Bank describing U.S. sanctions, along with the more recent global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on energy markets, as a “triple shock” on the country’s economy.[fn]The World Bank, “Iran Economic Monitor: Weathering the Triple-Shock,” Fall 2020, http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/287811608721990695/pdf/Iran-Economic-Monitor-Weathering-the-Triple-Shock.pdf.Hide Footnote

If the Trump administration had hoped Tehran would bend to its will, however, it was mistaken. In mid-2019, Tehran launched a counterstrategy, dubbed “maximum resistance.” Rather than concede to the administration’s demands and to demonstrate that what it viewed as tantamount to an economic siege would not go unanswered, Iran retaliated against the United States and its regional allies directly and through local proxies in places such as Iraq and the Persian Gulf. It also methodically breached its own obligations under the JCPOA on the contention that the evaporation of the financial benefits the deal had promised justified a reduction in its own compliance.

The cumulative impact of Iran’s JCPOA violations, which have escalated in line with a law the Iranian Parliament passed in December 2020 after the killing of a top nuclear scientist, allegedly by Israel, has been to substantially erode the agreement’s nonproliferation provisions in three different respects. The first relates to an expansion of uranium enrichment that cuts the timeline for producing one bomb’s worth of fissile material from a year to approximately three months; the most recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quarterly report pegs Tehran’s enriched uranium stockpile at 14 times the JCPOA cap of 202.8 kilograms and at an upper enrichment rate of 20 percent uranium-235 instead of the 3.67 percent permitted under the deal.[fn]International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Directors, “Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in Light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015): Report by the Director-General,” GOV/2021/10, February 23, 2021.

The second concerns the verification and monitoring authorities of the IAEA, which under the nuclear deal is afforded JCPOA-specific transparency accesses, as well as access under the additional protocol to Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement. Iran suspended these authorities in February, although IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi negotiated a three-month “bilateral technical understanding” to maintain key oversight capabilities.[fn]“Joint Statement by the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the AEOI and the Director General of the IAEA,” IAEA, February 21, 2021, https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/joint-statement-by-the-vice-president-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-and-head-of-the-aeoi-and-the-director-general-of-the-iaea.Hide Footnote The agency is also set to press Iran on outstanding questions relating to past work at undeclared sites during technical discussions scheduled for this month. Finally, although the expansion of uranium enrichment can be undone and IAEA access fully restored, the third area of concern involves ongoing nuclear research and development activities on advanced centrifuges and uranium-metal production that deliver, as the three European JCPOA parties note, “irreversible knowledge gain.”[fn]For example, see UK Mission to the UN in Vienna, “E3 Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” March 4, 2021, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e3-statement-to-the-iaea-board-of-governors-on-verification-and-monitoring-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-march-2021.Hide Footnote

The full article can be read on Arms Control Association's website 
5. For example, see UK Mission to the UN in Vienna, “E3 Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” March 4, 2021, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e3-statement-to-the-iaea-board-of-governors-on-verification-and-monitoring-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-march-2021.Hide Footnote