The United States has been approached with diplomatic solutions to its conflict with the Syrian government’s suspected use of chemical weapons, but also by Iran hoping to lift American economic sanctions, according to reports by the New York Times.
Only a few weeks ago President Barack Obama requested Congressional approval for a military action against Syria after mounting evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on rebel forces outside Damascus as part of a two-year civil war.
On the brink of Congressional contemplation over the issue, Syria submitted to an appeasement. After discussions with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister, Syria agreed to sign the international chemical weapons treaty, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in a New York Times report.
The United Nations already began the process of organizing the logistical steps towards destroying Syria’s chemical weapons after the passage of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Sept. 26.
In addition, Iran has made efforts to resolve the international sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, which are a result of Iran’s nuclear program. Strong sanctions are currently active by the U.S. including boycotting the Central Bank of Iran, according to Reuters.
Sam Houston State University political science professor Masoud Kazemzadeh, Ph.D., is an expert on the Middle East and North Africa and a native Iranian. He said there have been several sanctions on Iran regarding nuclear weapon development.
“There have been four United Nation Security Council resolutions that impose sanctions on Iran,” Kazemzadeh said. “All of those four resolutions explicitly said Iran cannot enrich uranium in Iran, it’s called zero enrichment.
The conjoined sanctions levied by the US and the European Union have plummeted Iran’s oil exports, which are nationally owned, according to Reuters. The question now is whether the economic strains Iran is currently under will result in an actual resolution.
“The official belief of the Iran’s Supreme Leader [Ali Hosseini Khamenei], who has stated officially, is that Americans want regime change, and sanctions as [a way to get] regime change,” Kazemzadeh said.
After initial talks with Kerry and a 15-minute phone call between Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – the first conversation between the two leaderships to take place since 1979 – Iran will participate in resolution talks Oct. 15 to 16 in Geneva, according to Reuters.