Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 25 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/7/08

Time for behavior adjustment – Ours

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Daniel Pourkesali
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

I was encouraged by the title of Trita Parsi's latest commentary 'Why diplomacy and sanctions don't mix' only to be disappointed by the narrative which unfortunately gives credence to the prevailing attitude in the United States that we alone hold the moral high ground to arbitrarily subject any country we choose to punitive sanctions for our own self interest.

Over two-thirds of all sanctions since 1945 have been initiated by the U.S., three-quarters of which have involved unilateral action without significant participation by any other country. They are often discussed and portrayed as a form of diplomacy and an alternative to war even though they're no less an act of aggression with very heavy human costs.

Instead of categorically accepting the 'carrot and stick' scheme as an appropriate foreign policy tool and engaging in the 'politically correct' argument over which should come first, we should expose the futility of this barbaric practice as an appallingly ineffective instrument in modifying the conduct of the governments it targets and reveal the horrible human suffering it creates. Over five hundred thousand children under the age of five perished as a direct result of U.S. and UNSC imposed sanctions on the so-called "dual use" materials and equipments related to nutrition, health and education in the 12 years prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Any self-respecting person of Iranian heritage should be outraged by the fact that similar sanctions are now under consideration and several have already been imposed on Iran through coercion for engaging in a legitimate activity under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) let alone advise the incoming president to use them as some kind of leverage that can be done away with "in return for significant behavioral changes".

Article 4 of the NPT states that "Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop, research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purpose" and there are no mentions of 'bad behavior' in the United Nations Charter as grounds for subjecting a country to disciplinary action. Article 39 of the UN Charter provides that the Security Council can take punitive action against a member state only if it finds that a 'threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression' exists, otherwise imposition of such sanctions are against internationally accepted laws.

Forcing Iran to give up its right under the NPT while granting a pass to nuclear powered states to continue violating the terms of Articles 1, 3, 4 and 6, is an abuse of power by the United Nations and in clear violation of its own Charter.

To succeed with his pro-diplomacy agenda, president-elect Barack Obama must give up all attempts at gaining any leverage over Iran through sanctions because no "combination of incentives and disincentives" or any meaningful negotiation to resolve differences can even begin until all illegal sanctions already imposed are removed and Iran's nuclear dossier is returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

Many of us who voted for Obama saw him as someone who could finally restore America's tarnished global image, but real change can only come in form of altering that old supercilious Washington mindset and prevent it from transitioning to the new administration.

Rate It | View Ratings

Daniel Pourkesali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Daniel M Pourkesali is a Project Manager with an Aerospace company in Northern Virginia specializing in development and manufacturing of flight dynamics, engineering and control systems.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ukraine regime change: A bad deal for the working class

Shooting the Messenger

The Next Nuclear Holocaust

Iran's Missiles Not an Existential Threat

Time for behavior adjustment – Ours

'Missile Defense Shield' and other imperial misnomers

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend