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That Treaty with Iran: A Different Vision


Thinking about the Iran deal…. First thought is that, perhaps, just perhaps, everyone’s got it wrong. The folks who cut the deal are touting it as a near-ideal treaty that will keep communication channels open and prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons. The critics are slamming it as a terrible treaty that will just hand Iran a couple hundred billions zucchinis to funnel to terrorists and give them cover to build a bomb and nuke Tel Aviv or maybe Boston.

I have some heretical thoughts.

a. Iran doesn’t really want to have any nuclear capability. They never did.

b. Iran has no intentions of trying to build a bomb. They never did, it was all a charade.

c. Iran wants to be accepted into the circle of industrialized, modern countries.

d. Iran wants respect.

e. Iran wants to have those crushing economic sanctions lifted.

It would be utterly nonsensical for Iran to develop nuclear capability. What would Iran do with a bomb? Drop it on Israel? Ridiculous. Israel (and the US) would turn Iran into a radioactive wasteland in about two hours and, worse, we’d all end up in WW III.

The Iranians are not stupid and they are a proud people. They were once the cradle of civilization. The Persian Empire arched its wonder across all of the Middle East for centuries.

But one thing is clear. Every nation that has nuclear capability gets respect — whether they deserve it or not.

Iran has been using the threat of a nuclear weapon as a weapon. But not one that they can or will or would ever drop on anyone. It’s been a diplomatic weapon, to be used at the bargaining table. They’ve always been willing to give it up in a New York minute because its real role has been to function as a chit to be given up — in exchange for:

a. Respect

b. Lifting the sanctions.

So we have ourselves a wonderful moment, a magical moment: A Win-Win-Win situation.

Iran gets the sanctions lifted, shuts down a weapons program that they never really cared about (and was draining their treasury). The US and its allies get to crow about how they neutralized Iran’s dangerous march toward becoming a nuclear power. Netanyahu gets to throw another temper tantrum (they are getting boring — someone needs to tell him). Obama gets to take credit for cutting a deal that had more than a few others smoothing the way. The GOP gets to howl at the moon about how that secret Muslim in the White House is a wuss who is undermining the country.

And the sensible folks like you and me? I’m pleased as punch to see how a deal can be cut between a surprisingly large number of countries who have, in just the past century, flickered back and forth between best buds and mortal enemies.

I suspect that the key negotiators at the tables, late at night when others have wandered off to bed (or, more likely, a Gasthaus for this was, after all, Vienna), knew this, knew it all along. It was a charade. It wasn’t about some unusable bomb or nationalistic posturing or ideology or theology. It’s about respect and economic recovery.

Iran is/was Persia. It once stretched its vision across the world. It was the font of civilization. It would be pleased, thank you, if the rest of the western, industrialized world, were to acknowledge that past greatness, understand its current frustrations and see (it only takes a bit of empathy) that this treaty is the best damn thing that could happen to all of the countries involved.

And, oh yeah, Iran is Shite. The Islamic State is Sunni. Iran is actually our most important and effective ally in the Middle East right now. Keep that one in mind ….


Reader Comments (1)

Very well thought out and articulated. Biggest misconception of Middle East issues is Americans' lack of understanding about the conflicts within Islam, not just Sunni and Shite, but hardliners versus relatively secular citizens of these nations (i.e., the typical Iranian watches TV, tends to like Western goods, and shares the sames likes and dislikes as most of us). Viewing Islam as a collective "enemy" is grossly counterproductive. We will need Islam allies to win the so-called "war against terror."

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNolan Dalla

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