February 3, 2013

Talks Between America And Iran: There Are No Downsides

An excerpt from, "US can talk to Iran, says Joe Biden" by Conal Urquhart and agencies:
The United States is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran amid the standoff over its nuclear ambitions, the US vice-president, Joe Biden, has said.

Speaking at the Munich security conference on Saturday, Biden said: "There is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed."

He insisted that "the ball is in the government of Iran's court" to show that it is negotiating in good faith.

Asked when Washington would hold direct talks with Tehran, Biden replied: "When the Iranian leadership, the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], is serious."
An excerpt from "Biden’s Tepid “Overture” to Iran Continues to Reflect America’s “Imperial Turn” in the Middle East" by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett:
Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Vice President Biden made headlines by affirming the Obama Administration’s willingness to participate in bilateral talks with Iran, if “the Iranian leadership, Supreme Leader, is serious.”  This formulation completely obscures how it is the Obama Administration, not Ayatollah Khamenei, that has not been diplomatically serious.  That’s because the Obama Administration remains unwilling to detach itself from the neo-imperial strategy in the Middle East that it inherited from its predecessors.
An excerpt from "Rethinking Iran: Does the Islamic Republic Really Want Nuclear Weapons?" by Sungtae “Jacky” Park:
A key assumption that the international community has regarding Iran’s nuclear program is that it is for military, not civilian, purposes. However, it is illogical to make such a case, whether one assumes that the Tehran regime makes decisions based on ideology and religion or based on what it considers to be in the interest of its national security.

Assume that Iranians are fanatically religious—irrationally and recklessly so. If so, they must absolutely not want nuclear weapons, since the Islamic republic’s founder Khomeini considered all weapons of mass destruction to be sinful. Even as Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War, Khomeini refused his generals’ plea to retaliate in kind. Moreover, the current Supreme Leader Khamenei issued a fatwa (religious decree) banning nuclear weapons. If the Iranian regime is irrationally religious, it cannot disobey its supreme leaders and their decrees about nuclear weapons.
An excerpt from my article, "Iran's Soft Power Strategy: Why Iran Does Not Want A Nuclear Weapon":
Building nuclear weapons would also be an anti-Islamic act. The Islamic Republic of Iran would lose its political and religious legitimacy if it overturned Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's fatwa against the development and deployment of nuclear weapons.
An excerpt from my article, "America And Persia Have Two Clear Choices: Rapprochement or War":
Stronger and friendlier U.S.-Iranian relations would produce positive effects for the region and the world. Israel will also benefit, but its current criminal leadership would be exposed and undermined which is why they are blocking the path to sanity and cooperation between America and Iran.
A rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran means Israel would have to improve its diplomatic game, and learn to join the international community rather than continue to piss on international law while hiding behind the might of U.S. marines.

Rapprochement would only be the beginning. America's free pass for Israel at the United Nations would be revoked. These actions will signal to the world that America is a serious international peacemaker, and greatly enhance the reputation of U.S. leaders. There will be a rebirth of pro-Americanism around the world.

But a U.S. rapprochement with Iran is not about restoring America's image. It is about building peace and security in the Middle East. It is about humbling Israel. And Israel needs to be humbled. Apparently, they learned nothing from their defeat by Hezbollah. Instead of getting wise, Israel has become more irrational and aggressive. It is now seriously threatening to attack Iran and destroy the world economy in the process.

The world needs to take a collective deep breath and reject Israel's paranoid view of Iran and the region. Israel is in no position to dictate issues of war and peace in the Middle East. Who is Israel to dominate U.S. foreign policy and drag it into a war that would severely damage American interests and American fighters? Israel is an ungrateful and spoiled nation that can't even win a war against a militia. It needs to learn to play nice, or be pulled by the ear out of the game.

America must talk to Iran, and bring Israel into line because America has regional and global responsibilities. This is the rational, wise, pragmatic, and realistic path to pursue. The current aggressive stance toward Iran by America and Israel is inconsistent with American interests.