Sunday, December 1, 2013

Does Rouhani rhyme on Harmony?

af Lars Andreassen

Or did the ‘Great Satan and ‘Axis of Evil’ – as Reuters put it - strike a deal on the Iranian nuclear programme? A deal between satan and evil really should cause some unrest - which also seem to be the case in Israel and Saudi Arabia - but this one, I think, deserves at least a smiley. It could prove to be a bit like the math thing were minus (satan) multiplied with minus (evil) yields a plus, even though we're not safe home yet. 

Real politics or politics for people
Some people are not as optimistic as I am. Those people would no doubt call themselves realists. Michael Rubin, who says this interim deal with Iran risks creating another North Korea, I guess, is one of them. The 5+1 must somehow have conditioned Iran in the old fashion Pavlonian way, so that “whenever Tehran needs cash, it can restart enrichment and then demand billions in payment for temporary suspensions. In effect, Iran has replicated North Korea’s strategy: blackmail for cash and technology.”
Rubin makes a perfectly sound argument, but he misses out on at least one thing: the Iranian people. The Iran deal is not just a deal between states, it is also a deal between the populations of these states. 

There is a viable opposition in Iran, which is causing the supreme leaders a lot of headache. First they had to let Hassan Rouhani in to the presidential election, and even though he was probably not their favorite candidate, they did let him win. Rouhani was the candidate that the Green Movement – the people’s opposition – preferred. Those in Iran who want peace, development, independence, freedom, and the possibility to choose for themselves; the youngsters, the educated, and they neither need nor want nuclear bombs. 

They want peace just like most Americans – and, I dare to add, most of the rest of common folks on this planet.

The Iranian people are well informed, they are educated and they know, that we, in the west, does not oppose them. That know, that we want peace as well as they do. And we know, thanks to our valuable freedom rights, about the Iranian people, that Iranians has everything to win and nothing to lose by a peaceful relations to the west. They want more than just a nuclear deal, they want to tap into the global economy, and the opportunity to live peaceful and prosperous lives, as one can read in this Al-Monitor reportagefrom Iran.

When Pr. Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are to sell this interim deal to congress, they should take on the case of the Iranian people. Those are the ones we’ll have to share our future with, and they aspire to the same dreams and hopes as every other human being does – whatever religious views they fancy.

What Historical Mistake
The deal is a historical mistake says Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. It threatens the security of the state of Israel, he claims. The Iranians only appear peaceful, but appearance is not what it seems. And now, with the new deal and relieved sanctions they can proceed their strive toward gaining nuclear weapons – and even with a better economy. But how on earth are the Israelis more threatened by Iran now,  than they were just three months ago, I’d like to ask.

Sanctions didn’t work before, why should they work in the future to come. “Iran had 164 centrifuges operating in 2003; today it has 19,000 centrifuges,” as Fareed Zakaria writes on GPS“Had the Geneva talks with Iran broken down, Iran would have continued (International Atomic Energy Agency) expanding its nuclear program.” And now Iran might have visits from IAEA on a daily basis.

On the other hand, Netanyahu has been feeding extremists of his own, and proceeded the building of settlements on the West bank and other places violating both collective and individual rights of Palestinians. That might be the real historical mistake. The making of new settlements is not just a provocation to the enemies of Israel they are also making it harder for allies to remain devoted allies as this article by Akiva Eldar, clearly shows.

The above point is also clear from Ben Caspit’s article, which add to this, that many Israeli security- and military officials and experts “believe that the agreement with Iran — while not perfect and with a few holes — has benefits that outweigh the damage.”

State Rights or Human Rights

Pr. Rouhani of Iran has often claimed that his state has the same rights as any other state to protect themselves and to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. It is not viable for an international rule of law to deny some states the same rights as others. But a state's rights should be conditional to how it protects and respects its citizens' individual rights. This will protect the international society from abusive governments. 

A long-lasting agreement with Iran must be accompanied by demands for real democratic reform and respect for individual rights. An Iran led by its people, as we know from Western and Scandinavian democracies, will yield the best guaranty against conflict. From people to people. Repressive states only guarantee one thing: repression, war, and conflict. 

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