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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/9/12

Iran won't crack

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Let's start sledgehammer style. Iran won't crack. Iran won't crack. Iran won't crack.

No sledgehammer, though, is likely to perforate the limitless fog of delusion hovering over a US elite that a relentless propaganda campaign tries to sell as "the international community."

See, for instance, this bland op-ed, where we discover that "the international community is now on watch for cracks in Iran's defiant stance: Will increased sanctions compel Tehran to make real concessions and allow for a diplomatic solution to the standoff?"

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Here's your short answer: No.

For starters, the "international community" is not the NATOGCC compound plus Israel. Not only the BRICS group of emerging powers but also de 110-plus members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) -- that is, the absolute majority of a de facto "international community" -- are appalled at how Iran has been treated as a pariah in its negotiations with the P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

The piece goes on, noting that "the Iranians didn't seize the opportunity" to essentially submit to Washington's roll-over-and-die brand of diplomacy on show at the nuclear negotiations. "Instead, they demanded recognition of their right to enrich." Of course they have the right to enrich uranium -- as subscribers of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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What makes this op-ed noticeable is that it was not written by a rabid neocon. The author is "an international affairs professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School, a former deputy national security advisor and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations." If this is a measure of the level of intellectual debate prevalent in the revolving door between academia, punditry and policymaking, US elites can't help seeing the future as worse than the Black Death.

Watch your step

Now for the real world -- where facts collide.

Russia favors a "step-by-step approach" in the ongoing nuclear negotiations. This means Iran would gradually increase cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and, in return, sanctions are gradually revoked.

Take a long hard look at this document, leaked earlier this week by Iran's mission to the UN. It contains the essence of the Iranian position, calling for a "long-term cooperation" that would finally demolish the wall of mistrust erected between the US and Iran since 1979.

Every informed observer and participant knows this interminable geopolitical drama goes way beyond Iran's nuclear dossier. But a solution has to start somewhere -- and the "somewhere" is the recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium, and then the progressive easing of sanctions.

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It's exactly the rational "step-by-step approach" favored by Moscow. The next-to-final step would be "a comprehensive agreement on collective commitments in the areas of economic, political, security and international cooperation."

This means recognizing Iran's sovereignty and rights -- instead of demonizing and punishing it because the NATOGCC compound plus Israel abhors/fears a Shi'ite majority Islamic Republic.

It does not take a cushy job at the Kennedy School of Government to see Washington's response will be a resounding "no." Washington, London, Paris and Berlin -- but not Moscow and Beijing -- will prevent the negotiations going anywhere without Iran abdicating from uranium enrichment.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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