Islamabad - The talks over Iran’s nuclear programme may linger on to many years because of the changing geo-strategic dynamics of the Middle East.

Experts said this at a roundtable on ‘Iran’s Nuclear Programme: The Deal, Prospects and Implications’ held here at Institute of Policy Studies on Wednesday.

The event was addressed by Dr Nazir Hussain, associate professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, and moderated by Air Commodore (Retd) Khalid Iqbal, security analyst and member IPS National Academic Council.

The experts said that there were little prospects of a permanent solution to the issues surrounding Iranian nuclear programme in the short to medium term. The extended period of negotiations linked with the interim deal between Tehran and P5+1 can hardly be expected to produce a lasting arrangement between the two sides.

Dr Nazir Hussain highlighted that the stakes were high in the negotiations but the changing circumstances in the wake of the US campaign against the Islamic State (IS) have altered the geo-strategic dynamics of the region. The talks over nuclear programme, therefore, may linger on, he cautioned. 

He was of the view that the solution to the issues lies in declaring the Middle East a nuclear weapons’ free zone where all the countries refrain from nuclear weapons while nuclear energy access should be available to all on equal footings.

Dr Hussain was of the view that Iran’s nuclear programme was not a threat to any of the regional countries. “[Iranians say that] Iran has not attacked any country in the Middle East for the last 500 years,” he stressed.

Air Commodore (Retd) Khalid Iqbal lamented that the international community’s approach on non-proliferation has been country-specific instead of being based on a criteria. He backed his argument with the example of waiver for India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).