Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

It is time for reconciliation between Iran and the West

diplomacy-not-bombsA deal that offers Iran a nuclear power industry not exceeding its needs and ambitions, and the rest of the world reassurance through intrusive inspections, would do more than bring Iran in from the cold. It would inaugurate a new relationship between the Islamic Republic and the west that could keep together a region that is, in every other particular, coming apart.

Iran nuclear talks: why Tehran must be brought in from the cold

flag-IranA deal with Iran is vital for the stability of the wider Middle East. The opportunity must be grasped     The Guardian, Friday 3 October 2014 In Iran a few weeks ago I travelled with my 11-year-old son from Tehran to the ancient fire temple at Takht-e Soleymān, not far from the Iraqi border. At no time during our journey – part of which was made in a clean, comfortable, Chinese-made train – did we feel anything but safe. Our only exposure to violence was in the provincial town of Zanjan, famous for its knife production, where a salesman dry-shaved his own forearm in demonstration of his wares.

No one in their right mind would undertake a comparable journey nowadays inside the borders of any of Iran’s war-torn neighbours: Iraq, Afghanistan, or, a bit further afield, Syria. Iran is the exception along the Middle East’s strategic, resource-rich central belt, a functioning nation state where the central authorities enjoy a monopoly of force, the infrastructure works and the people are overwhelmingly literate and unarmed. Perhaps most significant of all, as capo di tutti capi of the Shia world – wielding clout over its co-religionists in Iraq and Lebanon as well as propping up Bashar al-Assad with military assistance and subsidised oil – Iran could have a vital role in restoring stability throughout Mesopotamia and the Levant.

I say “could” because there is no guarantee that the Iranians will be invited to assume the role that common sense assigns them. It’s one of the perversities of modern politics that the west does not have a decent working relationship with the most important country in the Middle East……..
now is crunch time; for 24 November, the final day of negotiations, is just eight weeks away, and big differences remain over the scope of the uranium enrichment programme that Iran will be allowed to retain. At the same time the incomplete alliance that the US has built against the militants of Islamic State (Isis) – including Sunni monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, which have a history of fanning Shia-phobia (and anti-infidel hatred more generally), while keeping Iran at arm’s length – illustrates once again the illogic of the western approach……….

The US and its allies have not enjoyed much recent success in influencing internal Iranian politics, but they should be aware that Rouhani’s continued political prosperity, and that of the more hopeful Iran he represents, is dependent in large measure on success in the current negotiations.

If they succeed and sanctions begin to be lifted, the country could advance rapidly as oil sales rebound to 2.2m barrels a day (up from 1.3m), and the country gains access to an estimated $100bn in frozen assets abroad.

Failure could bring an equally quick unravelling, however, with the US Congress imposing new sanctions after November’s midterm elections, and an inevitable Iranian response. Amid renewed uncertainty the economy would again dive, discrediting Rouhani and all he stands for. And that would be a disaster – for Iran, for the region, and ultimately for the west……..

A deal that offers Iran a nuclear power industry not exceeding its needs and ambitions, and the rest of the world reassurance through intrusive inspections, would do more than bring Iran in from the cold. It would inaugurate a new relationship between the Islamic Republic and the west that could keep together a region that is, in every other particular, coming apart. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/02/nuclear-talks-why-tehran-must-come-in-from-cold

October 8, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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