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随着核谈判在维也纳恢复,游戏才刚刚开始

  发表于 Dec 9, 2021 03:08:13 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
在失败的阿以谈判中度过了几十年,我知道当我看到谈判时遇到了严重的麻烦。伊朗核谈判在暂停近五个月后于本周在维也纳恢复,就是一个很好的例子。

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事实上,目前,拜登政府和伊朗最高领袖可能都不认为双方都能接受的协议是可行的。并且不确定其中一个当事方——伊朗似乎正在利用会谈作为掩护来加强其核计划——认为现在达成一项协议甚至是可取的。

所有这一切都说明,游戏才刚刚开始,结果不会是一蹴而就,也不会崩溃。事实上,今天伊朗代表提交了他们自己关于解除制裁和他们自己的核活动的文本,提出留在维也纳继续谈判。取而代之的是,我们可能会在双方进行一场长时间的操纵和施压博弈以实现他们想要的目标,或者如果失败了,以确保如果谈判失败,另一方承担大部分责任。

一般来说,当有足够的痛苦和收益来改变双方的计算时,谈判的僵局就会被打破。任何参与过谈判的人都会告诉你——无论是与以色列人、巴勒斯坦人还是俄罗斯人——单独的压力和痛苦很少能奏效,尤其是当一个国家认为其重要利益受到威胁时。

特朗普总统对伊朗的最大压力运动就是一个例子。制裁严重损害了伊朗的经济,但并没有迫使伊朗做出让步;事实上,特朗普的制裁导致伊朗加快其核计划。

今天谈判面临的挑战是导致2015年伊朗核协议的因素都缺失了。正如美国伊朗问题特使罗伯特·马利所指出的那样,促成先前协议的压力和诱惑的结合不再一致。

此外,美国单方面退出协议;伊朗在美国放弃该协议后最初遵守该协议后,违反该协议扩大其铀浓缩活动;额外的美国制裁;伊朗拒绝允许 IAEA 对敏感核设施进行监测,不仅破坏了现有的信任和信心,尤其是美国和伊朗之间的信任和信心;但也提出了一些严重的问题——一些关键条款将在 2025 年到期——关于原始协议是否已经过时和无关紧要。

更糟糕的是,自美国于 2018 年退出该协议以来,双方的政治局势明显强硬。一个新的、更强硬的伊朗政府于 6 月上台,这位最高领袖——显然从来都不支持最初的协议——现在公开承认这是一个错误。

新任外交部长对前鲁哈尼政府的严厉批评,以及新的强硬首席谈判代表对谈判过程的严厉批评,创造了一系列空想的要求,伊朗很难在没有额外补充的情况下简单地修改或放弃这些要求。华盛顿的让步。

至于美国人,拜登政府重新加入该协议的意图因总统的其他优先事项而变得复杂。他的前任对伊朗实施的新制裁网络;拜登本人;共和党和一些民主党人越来越反对一项协议,该协议并未涵盖伊朗在该地区传播其影响力的努力,特别是其支持亲伊朗团体袭击美国在叙利亚和伊拉克的军事基地及其迅速发展的弹道导弹计划.

事实上,即使拜登奇迹般地能够在短期内重新加入核协议,对于支持率正在下降的总统来说,这可能是一种政治责任。人们可以想象拜登的政治顾问敦促他推迟任何可能重新加入受到谴责的(至少是华盛顿的一些人)JCPOA 的想法,这是可以原谅的。

可以说,随着伊朗、欧洲人、俄罗斯人和中国人之间的第七轮谈判在维也纳开始,事情看起来并不好。 (伊朗仍然拒绝直接与美国会面。)

无论本周在维也纳发生什么其他事情,都不太可能取得太大进展。的确,如果伊朗提出新的、异想天开的要求,正如其外交部长和首席谈判代表最近概述的那样——即会谈与核问题无关,只是取消美国的“不人道”制裁,人们可以想象一场比赛,每一方都试图说服其朋友和世界其他地方,对方才是不讲道理的。前国务卿詹姆斯·A·贝克称这种策略为“死猫外交”最顽固的派对门口的死猫。

美国特使马利在最近的 BBC 采访中暗示了这种做法,他在采访中表示,如果伊朗过分玩弄自己的手,全世界都会看到德黑兰有机会达成协议,但选择不这样做。

伊朗正在准备自己的谈话要点,试图将责任推到华盛顿的门上,询问伊朗如何在没有美国保证不会再次退出的情况下达成另一项协议。伊朗将指望俄罗斯和中国在陷阱抽奖中站在自己一边。

这一轮谈判最初可能会转向延迟五个月后伊朗带回谈判桌的内容。很可能美国、伊朗或欧洲、俄罗斯和中国都不希望谈判结束。但是,如果他们这样做了,我们将很幸运能够通过一场陷阱游戏逃脱。

重新加入 JCPOA 的替代方案——更小的协议、更少的制裁减轻以减少对伊朗核活动的限制,或者更长、更强有力的协议来延长对伊朗核活动的限制——似乎不切实际。以色列与拜登政府讨论了所谓的 B 计划——更多制裁;网络战;以及对伊朗核设施采取军事行动的威胁——是一个专注于国内优先事项的拜登不想接受的计划。

总统现在最不需要的就是伊朗和以色列之间的冲突,这会将美国拖入与德黑兰的战争。但是,如果谈判没有成功,迟早我们会走向那个方向。正如一位英国记者所写,如今维也纳的雪比乐观还多。

As nuclear talks resume in Vienna, the game has just begun

Having spent a couple decades in and around failing Arab-Israeli negotiations, I know a negotiation that's in serious trouble when I see one. The Iran nuclear negotiations that resumed this week in Vienna after a suspension of almost five months are a case in point.

Indeed, right now, probably neither the Biden administration nor Iran's Supreme Leader believes a mutually acceptable agreement is feasible. And it's not so certain that one of the parties -- Iran, which seems to be using the talks as cover to ramp up its nuclear program -- believes that an accord is even desirable right now.

All of which is to say that the game has just begun, and the outcome will be neither a quick accord nor a collapse. Indeed, today Iranian representatives presented texts of their own on sanctions removal and their own nuclear activities, offering to stay in Vienna to continue negotiating. Instead, we're likely in for a prolonged game of maneuvering and pressure by each side to achieve what they want, or failing that, to ensure that, if talks do crater, the other side takes the lion's share of the blame.

As a general rule, an impasse in negotiations is broken when there are sufficient amounts of pain and gain present to change the parties' calculations. As anyone who's been a part of a negotiation will tell you -- whether it's with the Israelis, Palestinians, or Russians -- pressure and pain alone rarely if ever work, especially when a nation perceives its vital interests are at stake.

President Trump's maximum-pressure campaign against Iran is an example. Sanctions severely damaged Iran's economy, but they didn't force Iran to make concessions; in fact, Trump's sanctions resulted in Iran ramping up its nuclear program.

The challenge facing the negotiations today is that the factors that led to the 2015 Iran nuclear accord are all missing. As US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley noted, the combination of pressure and inducements that led to the previous accord are no longer in alignment.

Moreover, the unilateral US withdrawal from the accord; Iran's breaching of the agreement by expanding its uranium enrichment, after initially adhering to the pact after the US abandoned it; additional US sanctions; Iran's refusal to allow IAEA monitoring of sensitive nuclear sites have not only shattered what trust and confidence existed, particularly between the US and Iran; but also raised serious questions -- with some key provisions due to sunset by 2025 -- about whether the original agreement was becoming obsolete and irrelevant.

To make matters worse, since US withdrawal from the accord in 2018, the politics on both sides have hardened significantly. A new, harder-line Iranian government came to power in June and the Supreme Leader -- clearly never a fan of the original accord -- has now publicly admitted it was a mistake.

The uptick of withering criticism of the previous Rouhani government by a new foreign minister and of the very process of negotiations by a new harder-line lead negotiator have created a set of fanciful demands that will be hard for Iran to simply amend or drop without additional concessions from Washington.

As for the Americans, the Biden administration's intention to rejoin the accord was complicated by the President's other priorities; the new web of sanctions imposed on Iran by his predecessor; by Biden himself; and by growing opposition by Republicans and some Democrats alike to an accord that didn't cover Iran's efforts to spread its influence in the region, especially its support for pro-Iranian groups striking US military bases in Syria and Iraq and its burgeoning ballistic missile programs.

Indeed, even if, by some miracle, Biden was able to rejoin the nuclear deal anytime soon, it would likely be a political liability for a president whose approval ratings are tanking. One can be forgiven for imagining Biden's political advisers urging him to delay any would-be reentry into the reviled (at least by some in Washington) JCPOA.

Suffice to say, things don't look good as a seventh round of negotiations between Iran, the Europeans, Russians and Chinese opened in Vienna. (Iran still refuses to meet directly with the US.)

Whatever else happens in Vienna this week, not a great deal of progress is likely to be made. Indeed, if Iran comes back with new and fanciful demands, as its foreign minister and lead negotiator have recently outlined -- i.e., that the talks have nothing to do with the nuclear issue, only removing ''inhumane" US sanctions, one can imagine a game of gotcha with each side trying to persuade its friends and the rest of the world that it's the other party who's being unreasonable. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker called this tactic ''dead cat diplomacy," where he'd lay the dead cat at the doorstep of the most recalcitrant party.

Malley, the US envoy, hinted at such an approach in a recent BBC interview where he suggested that if Iran overplayed its hand, the world would come to see that Tehran had a chance to strike a deal but chose not to.

Iran is preparing its own talking points to try and lay the blame at Washington's door, asking how Iran can enter another deal without a US guarantee that it won't bolt again. Iran will be counting on Russia and China to take its side in the gotcha sweepstakes.

This round of negotiations may initially turn on what Iran brings back to the table after a delay of five months. And it's likely that neither the US, Iran or the Europeans, Russia and China want the talks to end. But if they do, we'll be lucky to escape with a game of gotcha.

Alternatives to reentering the JCPOA -- a smaller deal, less sanctions relief for fewer curbs on Iran's nuclear activities or a longer and stronger accord that extends the curbs on Iran's nuclear activities -- seem unrealistic. Israel's so-called Plan B discussed with the Biden administration -- more sanctions; cyber war; and threat of military action against Iran's nuclear sites -- is a plan that Biden, preoccupied with domestic priorities, doesn't want to embrace.

The last thing the President needs now is an Iranian-Israeli blow-up that drags the US into a war with Tehran. But if negotiations don't succeed, sooner or later that may be where we're heading. As one British journalist wrote, there's more snow in Vienna these days than optimism.

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