Simple Propositions To
Solve The Iranian Nuclear Crisis
By Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi
18 April, 2006
one can say with confidence what the Iranian leaders have in mind. Do
they have ambitions to enrich weapons grade uranium or are they simply
looking for a long-term plan for their energy needs? No one should or
could accept the Iranian leaders’ assertions that they have no
intention of developing a nuclear arsenal. No one should or could believe
the Bush administration’s promises that it will pursues a peaceful
and diplomatic solution to the current crisis, much of which is manufactured
by the neo-conservative war machine. When President Bush calls the idea
of using bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons “wild speculations,”
no body should believe him or any other White House denials that it
is in the midst of operationalizing its contingency war
plans on Iran.
War is not inevitable, no
matter how hard the both sides try to make it so. The following six-point
proposal is based on an assumption that the most significant element
compelling the Islamic Republic to contemplate militarizing their nuclear
technology is their threat assessment. Those in the Bush administration
who believe that they could bomb Iran into submission, or deter their
resolve to advance a nuclear technology, are simply racing away from
a negotiated settlement of the current conflict.
Once compared to all other coercive and military measures, the following
six-point plan to resolve the crisis offers concrete benefits for both
sides. The major costs of this solution (comparing to the possible hundreds
of thousands of deaths, immense destruction of Iranian cities, and colossal
economic price for both sides) are symbolic, for the most part, and
require prevailing over issues of pride and prejudice.
1. Iran has an inalienable right to peaceful nuclear technology. This
right comes with the responsibilities and obligations to the international
community as stated in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Should Iran
decide to expand and sustain a nuclear technology which includes full
cycle enrichment program, the Islamic Republic must comply with the
IAEA’s terms of inspection and regulation. Iran should guarantee
the complete transparency of its program.
2. The United States should
sign a non-aggression pact with Iran that recognizes the sovereignty
of the Islamic Republic and pledges non-interference with the Iranian
domestic affairs. The United States must categorically reject the project
of regime change in Iran. If the Bush administration is genuinely committed
to the cause of democracy and human rights, it must recognize that its
efforts to “buy” or “install” democracy in Iran,
or any other country in the world, have the contrary effect of strengthening
undemocratic forces. American threats justify
the suppression of civil liberties at home and abroad. The United States
and it Europeans allies must recognize that even the most intrusive
inspection regime cannot stop Iran from contemplating the militarization
of its nuclear technology. The peril of such a development cannot be
contained or eliminated by threats of war. Rather, these threats provide
stronger and more justifiable reasons for speeding up the militarization
of peaceful nuclear technology.
3. The Iranian government
should accept and guarantee a policy of non-interference in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. As the former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has acknowledged,
Iranian policy must be based on the recognition of the Palestinian peoples’
right of self-determination. The Islamic Republic must guarantee that
it will respect any agreement between the Israeli government and the
4. Iran should formally acknowledge
that the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran was a violation of
international laws protecting diplomatic missions. It should recognize
that by seizing the embassy they violated the sovereignty of the United
States. Prior American involvement in Iran, especially the US role in
installing and supporting the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah, could not
and should not justify the act of holding American diplomats hostage.
Iran should restore the embassy to its original condition and maintain
the grounds for its future transfer to its American owners, or pay damages
to the American government.
5. The United States should
release all frozen Iranian assets, lift its trade embargo, and halt
punitive measures against companies which invest in Iranian industry.
6. Both the US and the Islamic
Republic should begin negotiations preliminary to re-establishing full
diplomatic relations. This could be part of a joint US-Iranian effort
to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq.
I urge opinion makers in
the US to press the government to turn away from fomenting war. This
proposal could be the means to de-escalating the crisis.
Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Department of History University of Illinois