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Whisper it Gently: Iran Played a Blinder

Friday, April 3, 2015 13:23
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Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist

Three months ago, I published this: “I remain hopeful that Iran will realise that there is a huge opportunity here. If Iran tactically backs down on its nuclear programme in the current circumstances, that will not be a defeat for Iran but a defeat for the neo-cons.”

That is precisely what has happened. My own Western diplomatic source with access to the talks, has told me today that he estimates 96% of the movement since December has been on the Iranian side, and only 4% on the international side. At the end, the Iranians took everyone by surprise by agreeing to take 2,000 more centrifuges out of use than anybody ever thought they would.

The Iranians have played a blinder by conceding. When Netanyahu had stripped off his thin cloak of international respectability and revealed himself to the world as an arrant racist warmonger, and Israel enjoys less popular support in the West than ever, Iran reveals itself as sensible, moderate and forward thinking in terms of its international relationships.

What is more, Iran has embarrassed and isolated its enemies. The enemies of this deal stand starkly displayed as the Saudi Arabian Royals, Israeli Zionists and United States Zionists – and a more evil combination it is difficult to imagine.

I remain strongly opposed to theocracy. Iran’s human rights record remains very poor and its treatment of gays utterly unacceptable. But by making plain that it is telling the truth in denying it is pursuing a nuclear arsenal, it is making a step in the right direction. If the West shows good faith – which I do not take for granted – and lifts sanctions, then we will see further development in Iran that I hope may produce improvement in democracy, society and human rights. But for now Iran has played a blinder.

If the congressional Zionists do manage to stymie Obama on this one, that will harm the US more than Iran as it will leave Israel and the US alone in sanctioning Iran, and almost certainly a situation where the US is sanctioning EU companies for trading perfectly legally with Iran after the EU lifts sanctions. The EU lifting of sanctions will not be conditional on the US lifting sanctions.That will drive a wedge between the EU and US. So this is a win/win situation for the world whatever Congress does.

It is worth reading the comments section on my December article, and seeing just how many commenters could not see that taking a step back would bring a victory to Iran, and that the Ahmadinejad policy of macho confrontation was deeply unintelligent. Sometimes you win by stepping back and watching your assailant blunder over.


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