Monday, 31 August 2015

Iran and United States the pain of negotiations

Iran is the glue that holds Western and Eastern Asia together. It has always been the crossroad of Asia having been a regional power for thousands of years. Iran's modern day borders have shifted very little and are not artificially created by colonialism. Its cultural, linguistic, political and economic influences is felt in China, Turkey, South Ossetia and Oman and even in India.

Iran's nuclear deal explained

Over a decade it took the United States and Iran to sit down for the first time and face one another on the issue of nuclear proliferation and nuclear developments. Beginning in 2003, the United States along with France, Germany, Russia, China and UK or P5+1 persuaded, sweated and pleaded with Iran to abide by the rules set by IAEA on the uses of its nuclear program. The US was particularly admit that Iran reconsider its uses of its own nuclear assets. Iranian uranium could be used only for peaceful purposes. However, Iran had been developing nuclear products for what the United States perceived as non peaceful needs ie nuclear bomb or weapons. Coincidentally, it was the United States that first helped Iran to develop its nuclear program in the 1950s. The media pundits, authors and political alarmists followed the fears of Bush and Obama administers by stirring up fears of an Iranian nuclear fallout, war and holocaust, Iran handling nuclear assets off to terrorist organizations causing havoc in Syria, Iraq not to mention the threat to posed to neighboring countries and Israel. Numerous books and documentaries featured post apocalyptic stories where a nuclear war threatens humanity's existed caused by terrorist groups or typecast country. Sometimes the fictional country was never mentioned but it was always hinted that Iran or Iraq was the standin for the nuclear crazy power hungry nation. There was even a music video featuring John McCain singing "Bomb Iran." Of course the creator didn't realize the irony in the song. The U.S. Congress and Israelis were not happy about the nuclear negotiations since in their eyes it represents appeasement for Iran. Never mind the fact that Israelis and opposing Congressman were not in the room during the marathon negotiations nor appreciate the importance of negotiations between self proclaimed sworn enemies. 

Fears of a nuclear holocaust turned to relief when US secretary John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif allowed diplomacy to replace their fears. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on July 14, 2015 in Vienna, Austria put an end to the nuclear nightmares of the US, France, Germany, Russia and China. Keep in mind all the above countries are currently using their respective nuclear stockpiles for energy use. France in particular is keeping a strong hold on the uranium deposit in Niger to fuel its uranium starved energy supply. Following 2011 Fukushima Disaster, made many countries second guest the joys of clean nuclear energy. If Chernobyl didn't teach anyone on the consequences of having nuclear power coexist in close proximity with humans and nature, Fukushima did. The negotiations were an ordeal of epic portions for the diplomats, host city, journalists, government officials and citizens waiting at home. 

Ishfahan, Iran famous for its square, architecture and being the center of the Persian rug industry going back thousands of years

Iran's roots run deep and its felt around the world

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and American Hostage Crisis, Iran and United States have been pulled apart. It often comes as a surprise for someone today to remember that prior to Khomenini and his inspired followers, Iran and United States were best friends and the special allies of the Middle East. Iran wasn't treated as the demonized, rogue nation 30 years ago. Iran in the 1950s and 60s under the Shah Reza Pahlavi was modernized, westernized to an extent and secular. It is still all those things today in 2015. As matter of fact Iranians are some of friendliest in the world and open to new ideas. Many have no problems with cultural ties and connections to United States or other countries. The problem lies with the politicians. Tehran is metropolis of 11.5 million people, has a nightlife and arts and Iran as whole has well developed infrastructure. Iran holds the reputation for not having attack another country in over 300 years when it was known as Persia. Another bonus, the country has a lot of history, has been an empire over three times throughout its 2500+ history. The Persian Empire influenced the language and culture of India and Pakistan. When Iraq gave the world the Hammurabi Code, Iran was introducing everyone to Cyrus, Xeres, Darius, poetry ie Omar Khayyam, Saadi Shirazi that has transcended borders and time. Avicenna is another genius and prolific author whose 200+ published studies on philosophy and science made Persia and its neighbors centers of learning and the envy of the medieval world. Avicenna's works also influenced later philosophy. Modern poets and writers included Forough Farrokhzad, Simin Daneshavar, Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, Marjane Satrapi, One of the largest public squares in the world is in Ishfahan while some of the oldest cradles of civilization can be found in Persepolis.

Iran Yesterday and Today, Rick Steves

Rick Steves is a well known travel writer famous for writing tour guides and travel shows on Europe. Several years ago, Steves traveled to Iran prior to the elections. Like many Western travel hosts and authors visiting Iran for the first time, he was blown away by the hospitality, beauty and culture of the Iranian people and the country as whole. He traveled to Tehran, Esfahan, Qom and the countryside to understand Iran fully.

As famed Chef and globe trekker Anthony Bourdain discovered Iran isn't the cartoon villain that media keeps wanting the people to see 

About Iran and ISIS

Netanyahu's recent mini tantrum over negotiations on Iran's nuclear use between the United States and Iran showcased to the world that Israeli government takes its chosen status to the extreme. 
It used to be that Israel always had the first and final say in any decision made in the region. It didn't matter if it was petroleum, political/economic events in Syria, Iraq or Egypt in Northern Africa. The United States generally thought of and consulted Israel either directly and indirectly. Now recent events have hamstringed Israel and slightly strained relations between Israel and United States with ISIS or Daesh and its takfiri cousins creating more chaos in Syria and harassing Hamas and ordinary Palestinians in Gaza. Netanyahu is aware that Israel is isolated physically in the current war between ISIS/Daesh, Kurds and NATO. Israeli concerns and thoughts on the issue are more muted in the Western media prior to 2011 Egyptian, Libyan Revolutions. The United States has been running its affairs in the Middle East without Israel's input. Netanyahu is feeling the cold shoulder hard. So Netanyahu and the right wing Israelis have watched from the sidelines as  the destruction in Syria, Iraq and with its other eyebrow rising ally Saudi Arabia in Yemen continue. The Israeli air force has been bombing Syria. As part of long standing Israeli policy to see Syrian leader Bashir al Assad removed from power and replaced perhaps by a pro Israeli/US leader. On Iran, Israel's stance has been clear from the get go. No compromising with Iran on anything even diplomacy

Iran's revolution foreshadowed today's frascaso in the Mideast

Iran and United States' pressure cooker animosity is a thorn left over from the Cold War. The Islamic revolution set the unofficial standard for events in the region afterwards. It coincided with the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, pre Mujahideen support by the U.S., pre Iran Contra Scandal and long before the Iraq-Iran war or Persian Gulf wars. In some instances, the Middle East and the wider world are still feeling the aftershock of the Islamic Revolution. This does not mean Iran is emphatic to ISIS. Contrary to popular belief, the Iranian government and wider extent Iranian society has been fighting against ISIS and its takfiri cousins in Syria and Iraq. Having experience the oppressive aftermath of their own revolution and destruction from war and sanctions, Iranians are not embracing the Islamic State nor their Wahhabi ideology. Iran is a little more lenient in jurisprudence than Saudi Arabia. 

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