Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Iran and the US: Diplomacy or War?

A key test of the leadership of a great power is whether it can reach its foreign policy goals by diplomacy rather than war. An even more test is WHETHER THE GREAT POWER WANTS TO. The Bush Administration failed both tests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and threatening Iran with war. Will the Obama Admin. choose engagement and diplomacy instead of threats of war and war? Obama is being pushed by Israel and an increasingly hawkish anti-Iran US faction to attack Iran (see article by Dreyfuss in The Nation 12-20-10).

What has Iran done wrong? It has a right to develop a nuclear program. That right was established by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran signed. Iran has the right to enrich uranium on its own soil, as do other signatories. Instead of threatening sanctions and in other ways hardening our policy (which can only harden Iranian leaders including its people), we should be opening doors of cooperation under the Treaty.

Here are some possibilities for peace rather than war: We should return to the Turkish-Brazilian fuel swap proposal and the May 17, 2010 Tehran Declaration that acknowledges Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We should go beyond the uranium enrichment question to talks on all issues of mutual importance, especially Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the drug trade, to build broad foundations for regional security. A major benefit to Obama of cooperation on such issues will be the blunting of hawk advocacy for armed violence.

Let us speak up for conflict resolution, negotiation, and diplomacy in relations between the US and Iran.
Dick (thanks to The Nation editorial, 12-20-10)

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