Now here is an opportunity for REAL creative diplomacy. Since part of Iran’s justification for their nuclear program is for internal energy needs, why couldn’t our government reach out and suggest that U.S. companies be allowed to bid on this project? Of course, this runs counter to all of the current clamoring for sanctions+ and military action.
But when one has a logjam, you typically can’t break it up by continuing to push the logs in the same direction. The logs just keep getting more jammed up. So, instead it calls for something – sometimes an explosive charge, to break up the jam. It seems the same way with diplomacy. The current round of negotiations with Iran seem to be déjà vu all over again. There is a need for a type of creative, out-of-the-box action to break the logjam.
It seems that providing U.S. knowhow, project management and efficiency to a peaceful, energy project (which could be used as a face-saving reason for Iran to scale back its nuclear program) could go a long way to setting a new tone in relations with a country that cannot simply be “put in its place”. Iran is going to continue to be a key player in the region no matter what the West and Israel try to do – simply because of geography, economy and religion. It can be argued that continuing the lack of ongoing diplomatic relations and the presentation of negotiating positions that contain clear non-starters (for several reasons) for the Iranian regime, actually gives the West and Israel much less control on the outcome of the current standoff.
Time for creativity.
- Iran cancels $2 bln dam deal with China: report (dawn.com)
- Iran cancels $2 bn dam contract with China: reports (terradaily.com)
- Soltanieh: IAEA report proves peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities (EndtheLie.com)
- Iran exploits diplomacy to advance its nuclear program (articles.boston.com)
- Sanctions against Iran to tighten despite talks, US official says (timesofisrael.com)
Six Former European Ambassadors Buck The “Fear-Only” Approach to Iran. They Believe World Still Needs To Engage
What grabs headlines are the constant reports of Iran’s expansion of its nuclear program – including Iranian officials’ announcement just this week of a tripling of Iran’s enrichment potential. However, a more even keeled, unemotional approach was taken in an op-ed yesterday in the LA Times. Six former European ambassadors (who might actually know a thing or two about understanding and dealing with real-life, living and breathing Iranian diplomats and politicians) call for continued engagement with Iran. Instead of hyperbole, they calmly review some of the actual facts with regard to Iran’s nuclear program and indicate that by all accounts, Iran appears to have adhered pretty well to the requirements of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (to which Iran is a signatory – unlike some other countries). The main thrust of their argument, however, is that even while it is important to be watchful of Iran, the world should continue to attempt to engage with them.
“Of course, a dilemma lingers in the minds of most of our leaders. Why offer the Iranian regime an opening that could help it restore its internal and international legitimacy? Should we not wait for a more palatable successor before making a new overture?
This is a legitimate question, but we should not overestimate the influence of a nuclear negotiation on internal developments in Iran. Ronald Reagan used to call the Soviet Union the “evil empire,” but that did not stop him from negotiating intensely with Mikhail Gorbachev on nuclear disarmament. Should we blame him for having slowed down the course of history?
The five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany should certainly keep the focus on matters of political and human rights, but they should also try harder to solve a frustrating and still urgent proliferation problem. By doing so, we would reduce a serious source of tension in a region that longs more than ever for tranquility.”
Read the full story here: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ambassadors-iran-20110609,0,2564096.story
- Iran to triple uranium enrichment (jta.org)
- World powers concerned over Iran nuclear programme (alternet.org)