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November 2013

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Nuclear Negotiations: Is it really the Fundamental Impasse between the U.S. and IRAN?

From: Rachel Kohan
Subject: Fwd: The US and IRAN- a letter to editor for publication
Date: November 18, 2013 at 3:16:57 PM EST

Nuclear Negotiations: Is it really the Fundamental Impasse between the U.S. and IRAN?

Contrary to popular conceptions and to how they are portrayed in the media, the so-called nuclear negotiations between Iran and the U.S. (P5+1) is only the tip of an iceberg. The U.S. has not yet fully accepted the loss of Iran as its most influential ally, as well as the loss of the Shah as the gendarme for cheap oil and the most important customer for American military and manufactured commodities in the Persian Gulf region. At the same time, the Islamic Republic (IRI) regime in Iran is now more vulnerable due to its failed domestic and international socio-economic and political policies, and is thus more apprehensive than ever about its very own existence: the regime’s exaggerated portrayal of its costly nuclear program is inextricably the indication of its schizophrenic anxieties. The theocratic class with Ali Khamenei at its helm is particularly fearful of being overrun and discarded into the history bin of oblivion by the revolutionary guard military coup d'état. The IRI is facing intensifying domestic dissent and oppositions, and is surrounded on all sides by the mighty U.S. pre-emptive military forces. The IRI leaders have witnessed the precedents set by the fates of Osama Ben Laden and Al-Qaeda linchpins of Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Moammar Kaddafi of Libya, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Bashar El-Assad of Syria, and by such extrapolations, fear their own demise. The nuclear negotiations are therefore a desperate ploy on their part to seek legitimacy from the U.S./West, along with guarantees that they will not be overtly or covertly overthrown by internal or external forces.

The pivotal challenge for the international community, especially the U.S., is to reach a multilateral accord whereby the long-term strategic and economic interests of the West/U.S. are amicably reconciled with the self-serving interests of the IRI establishment; in essence, the latter amounts to the IRI remaining in power long enough at least for a homegrown peaceful transition in Iran. What is more fundamentally at stake, however, is to ensure the sovereignty of Iran and the integrity of its 80 million citizens are conserved; this remains the paradigm shift and the major litmus test for the U.S. foreign policy.

The Iranian people are the only nation in the region still staunchly pro-Western/pro U.S., notwithstanding their trials and tribulations. They should fulfil their longing--150 years in the making--for socio-economic and political reformations, democracy, freedom, equality, human rights, justice and peace. Without the latter principle, any possible resolution to these so-called nuclear negotiations is short-sighted, unsustainable, and detrimental to the primary interests of all parties concerned. Reiterating the mutually beneficial interests of the American and Iranian peoples should remain our pivotal focus. Nothing productive will materialize if we continue to allow other governments in the region, be they Saudi Arabia, Israel, or others, to deflect their own failing policies by muddying the water and meddling our the ongoing dialogue with Iran.

Rachel Eliasi Kohan
Ossining, New York

Rachel Eliasi Kohan is a retired professor who has resided in the US for nearly 40 years. She was born in Iran in a culturally nurturing and ethnically diverse family with Bahai', Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Zoroastrian heritage.


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