Senior officials from the UN Security Council permanent members and Germany held a new meeting February 26 on with their Iranian counterparts in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to discuss Iran’s ambitious nuclear program. Talks led to agreements of new meetings in Istanbul in both March and April; big deal. Negotiations yielded to renewed demands asking Iran to stop its uranium enrichment and stop pretending. Iranian officials asked Security Council country members and the EU to lift some sanctions on Iran and give their economy some air to breathe. Nothing serious.
There are many issues to the Iranian nuclear program that major powers are not considering. Everybody thinks they are right about Iran, but who actually is? The country has been a closed economy since practically forever now. Yes, everything before Google is forever. Iran continually ranks extremely low on freedom of expression, transparency, and access to information.
Iran could be by now making nuclear weapons and racing to raze one thousand Israelis at each strike. Or they could very well, as they insist, be using the uranium for medical reasons. One can only speculate.
And, by the way, if you think you know something, please bear not to quote any cheaply-built website on jihad. They are hardly credible. The last time a really powerful nation tried to persuade its people and the world that another country in the Middle East was pursuing an active nuclear program did not turn out so great. Hundreds of thousands of people died, but nothing major changed in Iraq. Yes, they are somehow a pseudo-democracy, but look at their political system. Their new political rivalry is mainly characterized by violence and which party can shed more blood and take more lives than the others.
Iran might be a different case politically. However, the consequences of any bombings or military intervention might be even wilder, especially now that the Middle East is going through some issues of its own due to the Arab Spring and battling its own wars. But let’s rule a military action out for a moment.
I don’t know where the crisis over the nuclear program is going, but there are some possibilities scenarios I could see it ending. Common point would be — you know — sticking to the status quo.
Say diplomatic efforts and tougher sanctions will make Iran abandon its pursuit of a nuclear program. How likely is this to happen? Very unlikely. Historical record shows that countries bent on acquiring nuclear weapons will not do otherwise. I can name India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Nobody could do anything about it.
Say we try punishing Iran economically and tackling its oil revenues. Bad news: Tough economic sanctions did not stop North Korea from building its nuclear weapons. The EU, the U.S. and other world powers can try impoverishing Iran forever, but the country will only suck more money from its people. You cannot easily dry the funds of a government. The people will have to suffer first, and for a very long time, too.
Frankly, there are many more potential scenarios, but most importantly if Tehran determines that its security depends highly on possessing nuclear weapons, sanctions will not really change its mind. They will make sure that they will brain wash their citizens to hate the West and their fellow ‘political’ co-religionists too. Good luck dealing with these ones.
To be honest, I don’t know where these talks will yield to. I doubt highly that they will take anybody anywhere. All I can say, is power seeks to be balanced. If both Iran and Israel will possess nuclear weapons, then maybe they will stop being both jerks to each other for a change and decide both that war isn’t just worth the risk. They can still both live while hating each other, but peacefully just like Egypt and Israel. There is nothing wrong with that.