The differences between people occur on the day-to-day basis, which often affect how different individuals or groups interact. Some of the differences come from competition both in aspects of existence and superiority, such as those experienced in rivalry among various nations. As a result, the dissimilarities lead to increased chances of conflicts that may require a negotiation process to bring the two groups to a consensus. Moreover, negotiation is needed to motivate rivals to coexist without any group feeling threatened (Lewicki, Barry, &Saunders, 2010)
The modern world mostly involves principled negotiation, which is an interest-based approach to the negotiation process. The approach primarily focuses on management and resolution of conflicts through an integrative framework with an aim of achieving a mutually beneficial and shared outcome. The process also involves independent mediators who ensure that the brokered solution does not favor a specific side. The mediators act as facilitators in the meetings in order to achieve an agreement. An effective negotiation involves take-give situation so as to leave both parties satisfied. The current paper will focus on the Iran Nuclear Negotiation which is expected to come to a final conclusion on June 30th, 2015. The paper will also concentrate on some of the principles that have guided the process.
Iran nuclear crisis had dated a few years ago, while the negotiation process started in the year 2006. The United Nations Security Committee requires that members of the UN adhere to the established limits on the extent a nation can engage in nuclear activities. The case is further complicated by the warhead involved. Nuclear weapons pose a great danger to humanity, especially because its effects are long lasting after exposure. A constantly quoted scenario in the Iranian conflict is the Nagasaki and Hiroshima attacks, in which many people lost their lives, and the society continues to experience the aftermath decades later (Singh et al., 2015).
The United Nation member states started imposing sanctions on Iran. Most regulations involve the economic well-being of the state so as to force Iran to abandon its nuclear operations. The members also insisted that Iran should regulate its nuclear activities to levels that eliminate the threat to other states. The persistence was a counteraction to various nuclear facilities that Iran recently set up. In fact, they comprise both nuclear reactors as well as fuel enrichment plants. An arrangement between the UN and Iran followed, whereby Iran was to be represented by its delegates and the UN ambassadors comprised of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
A negotiation process aims at establishing a conflict that exists between the parties. In the Iran Nuclear case, the conflict is a threat that Iran posed to other nations by its development of nuclear weapons (Lewicki, Barry, & Saunders 2010)
The essence of the conflict is the fact that Iran has been enriching plutonium and uranium that are known ingredients in line with peaceful nuclear energy; and thus, other states had a reason to be afraid. The benefit of the conflict is that it brought out the issue in the limelight at early stages. The detection was advantageous, since the UN could evade the dangers that it could have faced in case Iran had not changed its intentions. The conflict created concern on both parties, with each side claiming that its security was at stake, while the other decrying of its rights. Iran viewed the conflict as a way of the West, especially the US, to gain control. Its leaders also termed the nuclear conflict as a crime against humanity after other nations imposed sanctions on Iran.
Iran vs. United States negotiation process dates back to 2006 though the progressive phase started in September 2013 during the signing of Geneva Agreement (Singh et al., 2015). Various delegates from both sides have been involved in regular meetings prior to the Geneva Agreement, but most of them failed to materialize. In 2014, however, a series of negotiation rounds took place with the first occurring on 18-20 February, 2014 and the 11th round on 17th December. There were extensions in 2015, with the 12th and 13th rounds taking place in January and February consecutively. Approaches used in resolving the disputes involve principles and incentives by the UN, which will be discussed further. Iran, surprisingly, often engaged in hard negotiation whereby it was barely flexible. Various tensions arose, mostly regarding what would happen if the negotiation failed; and when a party could feel that the other was being “too tough” on conditions. Interestingly, both parties used high profile individuals with the UN deploying secretaries of state from the US and Iran sending its senior leaders to negotiation tables. The aspect of employing high profile individuals helped in smoothening the processing as a result of their convincing power and abilities to broker a deal. The solution arrived at in the process was to benefit both parties in a way that none lost more power than anticipated. The above meant that Iran’s basic rights could be preserved, while other nations’ security could be guaranteed in a win-win situation.
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There were also two bilateral talks held between the US Secretary of State John Kelly and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif. A multi-lateral dialogue also happened between the two delegates led by W. Sherman and Abbas Araqchi, in which they were to discuss how to implement the terms. The Iranian team argued that the UN did not stipulate step by step procedure on how it will lift its sanctions. On the other hand, the UN was not contented as Iran could pose a danger when the agreed period of 10 years expired. The differences could not be fully resolved, and thus other meetings were to take place in coming days to renegotiate the terms and to brief on the progress of the development. The two parties anticipate that the follow-up meetings will serve as a tool to re-evaluate risks and to brief on the report from the oversight agency mandated with monitoring nuclear activities in Iran.
A negotiator should evaluate the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) before engaging in a negotiation comprehensively. The options may serve as a guideline on the set of items and extent of flexibility that one should bear so that the talks proceed. In the Iran nuclear case, however, there is no best alternative to negotiations, and it was upon the multi-nation delegate and Iran to make sure a deal is approved. The only alternative for the UN members would be to impose more sanctions while Iran could continue its uncontrolled nuclear program. However, a step would hurt both parties (Singh et al., 2015).
A negotiation process involves various guidelines and principles that the negotiators should set and adhere to for ensuring the success of the overall procedure. The UN Security Committee in its negotiation with Iran set various principles that could ensure that both parties come to an agreement and that comprised of steps that the process had to follow. One of the codes allows a nuclear program meeting Iran’s practical needs. The whole idea of nuclear programs is not to be abolished but rather to regulate the intention of its use, the energy and end products. According to the negotiations, Iran could continue with enrichment of fuel and operate its nuclear plants but only for peaceful purposes (Albright, Heinonen & Stricker, 2015). The term “peaceful purposes” implies that Iran can produce nuclear energy for domestic employment, while at the same time restricts nuclear weapons. According to a US factsheet, Iran’s nuclear facilities, such as Arak heavy-water reactor, should be restructured so that they can be fit for production of nuclear energy other than uranium and plutonium enrichment.
Another principle that the committee allowed was adequate irreversibility of constraints. Iran was facing various constraints such as economic sanctions from a large number of the UN members (Heinonen & Stricker, 2015). Therefore, Iran could not export oil to many of its former clients, a factor that affected the country greatly, since it was the largest budget income source. In case the arrangements of the deal went through, the sanctions could be lifted in phases within time but could be reinstated if Iran failed to adhere to the agreement. By the end of 2014, Iran could export oil to many states and received various grants to rebuilding of previous position (Singh et al., 2015).
The principle of allowed response time is another aspect that has played a big role in the success of the negotiations. Response time implies that the process would not be abrupt but rather gradual. Iran is expected to reduce its installed centrifuges that it uses to enrich uranium by two-thirds and also decrease its stock of enriched uranium. The strategy aims at converting uranium into a stable powder that cannot be converted back to elements that can make weapons. The only thing that Iran is required to stop instantly is the establishment of other nuclear plants especially the ones that enrich uranium. The US factsheet further said that the centrifuges no longer in use should be stored while being monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency (Albright, Heinonen, & Stricker, 2015).
Adequate verification is a principle that cannot be ignored when engaging in complicated negotiations. A party may involve itself in the negotiation and come to an agreement but fail to fulfill the established terms. The violation often comes with many consequences. Therefore, it is a factor that should be avoided through the creation of monitoring tools for the two parties. The negotiation between Iran and the UN Security Council also involved commitment. Iran agreed to stop the production of plutonium and weapons-grade uranium voluntarily in the pact that was signed to last for 10-15 years before the terms can be reviewed (Singh et al., 2015). Moreover, the two parties agreed that the nuclear facilities should be in constant monitoring by the Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that Iran follows the set standards. The idea implies time-to-time monitoring of the facilities to ensure that they will not be used in making of nuclear weapons (Lewicki, Barry, & Saunders, 2010).
In conclusion, negotiation is a process that involves two parties, and the negotiator should carefully plan a layout of steps that it should follow. It is always wise to hold on to talks to ensure that the agreement is met, since failure to follow has consequences. All risks that arise from terms that the parties agree upon should be re-evaluated periodically to ensure they are at their minimum. The two parties should also abide by the terms of agreement, and if need be, they should renegotiate the necessary sections to best correspond to both of them. Moreover, there should be principles guiding the process, which form a basis for discussing agreements. The UN-Iran conflict has been of great importance, since it endangered not only its citizens but the safety of the world at large. The effect of nuclear power covers a large area and lasts a long time. Thus, the potential aftermath is a fact that motivated the UN had to negotiate the deal. The safety of the human race is ventured in the ability of the UN to evaluate the agreements and be firm in the process. On the contrary, permissive style of communication can be a source of great disaster.
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