Iran Nuke Deal Within Sight

My Catbird Seat January 7, 2013 8
Iran Nuke Deal Within Sight

A resolution to the Iranian nuclear dispute is within reach, with Iran ready to accept limits on its program and many in the West willing to ease sanctions. But the real question remains whether chest-thumping politicians and pundits will let a deal go through.

 

By Paul R. Pillar

Another round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 is in the offing, as one can tell by an increase in commentary on the subject. This includes the helpful kind of comments and the nay-saying, unhelpful kind.

The outlines of an eminently reachable agreement have been clear for some time. They would include terms along the lines of what Reza Marashi has outlined and I have earlier addressed.

An encouraging sign is that some opinion-makers who still can sound pretty bombastic about the Iranian nuclear program, such as the Washington Post editorial board, nonetheless recognize the need for sanctions relief to be part of any deal.

It would be nice if this entire matter could be handled in a low-key, straightforward way: just make the necessary trades and complete an agreement. Unfortunately that does not look as if it is possible.

The sanctions have played a role in the United States that goes far beyond the manipulation of Iranian incentives in a way that involves American politics and American psychology. In particular, sanctions have been a means for members of Congress to demonstrate their anti-Iranian bona fides by voting again and again in favor of new ways to harm Iran.

And as Trita Parsi argues, sanctions have been part of a hoped-for story of Americans being able to claim a triumph over a foreign adversary.

Editor's note:  President Obama made a video appeal to the Iranian people on the occasion of Nowruz—the Persian New Year—saying that there was “no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another.” Iran is no adversary of the United States. Iran and United States could live together in peace. Iran can be a real ally in the region than some countries that like to portray themselves as allies.

What is very easy to forget in antagonistic bilateral relationships like this is that the other side has similar political and emotional needs. The Iranians certainly have such needs, although they are less triumphalist and more a matter of simple respect than the corresponding American needs.

One of the most insightful commentators on the entire saga of the Iranian nuclear negotiations, the former Iranian official who is now at Princeton, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, addresses this aspect in a new op-ed. Mousavian explains why it is essential, if any agreement is to be reached, for Iran to be able to preserve what he and his co-author refer to as aberu, or saving of face. Citing past history, he also explains how this will not be the case if Iran is once again called on to make significant concessions in return for the mere promise or hope of getting what it wants in return.

So one side feels a need to crow about a victory, while the other side needs to feel that it has not been kicked in the face. To square that emotional circle, American politicians will have to get most of their triumphalist fix from what has happened already — from getting a negotiation with Iran about curtailing its nuclear program under way at all.

Members of Congress can proclaim today (and when they next run for re-election) that all those votes they cast in favor of all of those sanctions were an important part of getting Iran to the negotiating table. After saying that, they should pipe down, get out of the way, and let the negotiators strike a deal.

Source : Consortium News


Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. This article first appeared as a blog post  at The National Interest’s Web site.

8 Comments »

  1. Fred January 7, 2013 at 8:54 am - Reply

    The wests beligerance towards Iran has nothing
    whatsoever to do with weapons of any kind. It
    is about Irans refusal to accept petro dollars for
    it's oil and any sort of western debt which will be
    used to limit Irans economic development. For
    that reason no peaceful solution to the
    non-issue of Irans nuclear program will ever be
    allowed. It is all about provoking a war
    so a private central bank can be installed…
     

  2. Big M January 7, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

    This sounds like pure Western media propaganda to me. Since there is zero evidence that Iran is trying to manufacture nukes, and the level at which they are enriching their uranium could not possibly produce any, why should Iran be involved in any deal? At the very least, it seems to me that Iran should have long ago renounced the NPT, if they are going to be constantly threatened for doing something they are fully allowed to do under it. Not to mention that the Zionists running DC are in the business of making offers that nobody with any self-respect could accept, which then gives them an opportunity to run around beating their chests and screaming that the offeree is endangering the planet, or some other such specious crap that they can use as an excuse to invade and occupy..

  3. Anthony Lawson January 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    This sounds very doubtful. Iran bashing is part of the Israeli tail that wags the U.S. dog and, like the "Peace Process", this issue will be dragged out for as long as the Israelis can manage it.
    Please see my vifdeo:
    Iran Bashing, Terrorism and Who Chose the Chosen People, Anyway?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eptPeSmA37U&feature=youtu.be

  4. rexw January 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    It is difficult not to support the comment by Big M that "why should Iran be invlved in any deal".
    Why indeed?
     
    Yes, there are inconsistencies in the attitudes of the irrational US and their faithful but  sheep-like,  P5 + 1, Israel's stockpile of 300+ nuclear warheads being the main one.
     
    I would suggest that it may be a sign of the "Times"  that such writings are  being carried on the op-ed pages of the NYTimes.. Was there a volcano eruption in New York of which I was not aware? Is the editor, not in any way known for printing anything but the AIPAC line directly transcribed from Netanyahu's own instructional emails, having a midlife crisis? 
    Let us ignore the cynicism that these two comments represent,  the real hot point here is that The New York Times printed this article..
    However, even though no self-respecting person interested in world peace, America recovering from the evil Zionist influences, the appointments of both Kerry and Hagel, Israel becoming JUST another state and Palestine being given back its own country  should do anything but see this NYT oped, this article, as anything but positive.
     
    So I am positive

     

  5. rexw January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    This letter sent to The Canberra Times, Australia following an article in this publication entitled “Republicans warn Obama on Pentagon job”   Any reader of  My Catbird Seat would know that this would carry a  summary of the efforts of  Israeli, Zionist, Jewish, Neocon, whatever fits,  to pressure President Obama into disregarding Chuck Hagel, the man ideally suited for the Secretary of Defence nomination  which, if it happened, would be just one more further disgrace for America. The letter stated…..   In the Canberra Times , Monday 7 January, the story “Republicans warn Obama on Pentagon job” is possibly the most significant matter we will see in 2013.

     

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/republicans-warn-obama-on-pentagon-job-20130107-2cbyw.html

     

    Disregard the negative lobbying noises. Obama, when he wisely appoints a real American, if he can then find enough honest US Senators to confirm the nomination of Chuck Hagel, a Veteran, a Senator, a patriot, as Secretary for Defence, will show perhaps for the first time that he is an American President making decisions for America and the world. Significance? He is not a rubber stamp for Israel and the militarists as we in Australia are similarly plagued with bad foreign policy decisions. Positives? Discussions with Iran, far less chance of another war, Palestinian resolution perhaps and decisions made only for US national interests. How refreshing will that be? The world has not seen such things for over twelve years. A great step forward for the world.   Similar comments should be spread throughout the world to make 2013 a chance for real progress, not more of the same erosion of US values by the Zionist fifth column, alive and dangerously activel in the USA.    

  6. mikael January 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    I sincerely hope that saving face is the only option left, because I see this Iran/USA conflict as inherited by both parts. Obamalama, the Lord of drones and peace, and his counterparts in Iran, that was forced to retaliate and have witnessed an escalation to the brink of a real war scenario, must realize the ugly truth. The economics are diving into an economical abyss, and both country’s will have a far better future with real prospects of growth when this hole issue is dumped. The USA is defacto broke, as I try to remind the far right winged Israelis about. They are gambling with the world economy, and I see the ricochet coming.  

     

    Nobody have anything to save, what the CAN do is to write their names in to historical annals as responsible and  adult enough to solve issues they dint create, we all know this, that’s what we have been talking about for years, the policy must change. I am even afraid the common Israeli will have to make brutal scarifies and hopes, to fuel a war machinery that never will win this war, some battles, yea, but the long run, never. Because that never happens.

     

    To brake this illusion, we must stop the lunatics that is behind this warmongering, and that benefits from it, in every aspect. Until then, everything will just be kicking the can further down the road and solves nothing, except escalates the problem we have right now. Is this anti-Semitism, huh.     peace

  7. george January 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Time for the jews to blow something up!

  8. Andrew February 17, 2013 at 9:57 am - Reply

    DON'T TRUST THE WEST. Look what happened with Iraq, they wanted to do the right thing even before 9/11. So whats different now?

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