From the Communist Party of Canada
The Communist Party of Canada welcomes the interim nuclear deal, the Joint Plan of Action (JPA,) between Iran and the P5+1 countries (US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany), noting that it is a small step in a positive direction on the issue of peace in the Middle East. However, the CPC also warns that the deal avoids many of the underlying issues that have contributed to insecurity, conflict and war in the region.
The negotiations and deal have sparked an increase in international attention on the issue of nuclear disarmament. The Communist Party calls on all peace-supporting groups in Canada to reinvigorate the global disarmament movement, as the most important factor that will force governments to pursue genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. It is critical, however, that peace activists maintain a focus on the provocations, interference and interventions by the imperialist countries – in particular the United States and its NATO allies – as the primary factors leading to aggression, nuclear weapons proliferation and war.
The Communist Party condemns the right wing political forces, particularly in the United States and Israel, who have denounced the deal as a capitulation to Iran. Comments such as these are not based on an assessment of the real terms of the JPA, but are instead part of a campaign of fear mongering and the drive to war.
The Joint Plan of Action has already helped to reduce tensions in the region, which have been sustained at dangerous levels for decades. The deal also promises to eliminate many of the harsh, decade-long economic sanctions that have contributed to so much suffering for the Iranian people.
At the same time, however, it is important to note that within a month of concluding the JPA, the United States announced a Missile Defence Strategy for the Gulf Cooperation Council. This accord will deliver US missile defence (MD) technology to the Gulf monarchies, along with increased weapons sales and increased joint military exercises. The Communist Party condemns this provocative action, which immediately undermines the JPA and raises the risks of war.
The JPA is scheduled to last for six months, while the parties negotiate a “comprehensive agreement.” The likelihood of such an agreement emerging is very small, given that the JPA avoids many key issues that drive instability, militarization and nuclear proliferation in the region. For example, there is no discussion of the role of Israel, a nuclear weapons state who has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the matter of military buildup in the region by the US and its allies. Similarly, the JPA does not discuss foreign interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, a recurring tactic of imperialism as it drives to overthrow legitimate governments in countries such as Syria.
The plan is further weakened by the absence of either a clear timeline for eliminating sanctions, or a common agreement on which sanctions will be lifted. This question is perhaps most immediate in the minds of the Iranian people. Officials from Iran and the US have circulated different versions of the agreement, which suggests there remains a lot of disagreement about key elements of the deal.
Rather than setting the tone for a comprehensive agreement for peace and disarmament, the Joint Plan of Action’s narrow approach allows the key issues to continue to build and become a greater threat to Iran and the entire region.
To survive, humanity needs comprehensive disarmament – of nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons. Agreements such as the Joint Plan of Action need to be understood for what they are – fleeting, one-off deals that are rooted in a particular context. They have some merit, but they cannot take the place of comprehensive agreements that include strict international controls and which apply to all states, principally to those who have nuclear arsenals.
The Communist Party of Canada demands that the Canadian government:
• immediately normalize relations with Iran and end all sanctions;
• reject its current foreign policy of provocation, interference, aggression and war, and adopt an independent foreign policy based on peace and disarmament;
• withdraw from NATO and stop all military trade with the United States and NATO countries;
• promote comprehensive disarmament at the United Nations and in all international forums.
Communist Party of Canada, Central Executive Committee
May 19, 2015