What if a Rational Iran Says, "Yes"? (GateStone Institute) by Shoshana Bryen 05/03/12)
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If the West takes no action, each Iranian target will remain a
target: dissident Iranians, Sunnis including the Saudis, European
capitals, Americans and American interests, Western-oriented South
Americans, Israel and Jews. Russia and China will support Iran with
no concern for American disapproval. Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria,
Venezuela and Nicaragua will have their patron intact.
LTG Benny Ganz, Israel´s Chief of Staff, turned heads when he told
the Israeli newspaper Ha´aretz that the Iranians are rational and, in
his view, have not taken a decision about moving from nuclear
capability to nuclear weapons. The second is supposed to prove the
If rational means having an appreciation for the consequences of
actions and an ability to take steps to reach a desired end, the
Iranians are rational. It bears noting that the "end" may not be
using, or even having, nuclear weapons. Perhaps the goal is keeping
the "international community" (represented by the P5+1) focused on
nuclear-activity-short-of-weapon-making while the regime further
entrenches itself at home, harasses the West, and pursues its
ultimate goal of transnational Shiite expansion.
The rational position for Iran would be to encourage the world to
focus on whether or not it might do something now or later, rather
than on what it is actually doing now – which, to the shame and the
detriment of the West, indeed looks like Iranian policy.
Iran continues to oppress its own people – including 676 executions
in 2011, a 10-year-high with many of them performed in public. Iran
is engaged in the illegal export of weapons [see here, here, here].
It provides arms, money and advisors to Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah;
exports arms to Africa; and has a hand in the Bahrain uprisings. Iran
is heavily engaged in South America, particularly in Venezuela, but
also across the continent in various political, military and economic
endeavors. It supports the Taliban in Afghanistan and steals oil from
Iraqi oil fields.
Israel believes Iran is producing long-range missiles that can strike
the West, and India reports that Iran is producing short-range anti-
At so many levels, Iran is a problem for and a threat to the West,
its interests and its allies. Yet the focus is almost entirely on the
terms of uranium enrichment and whether Iran has made a decision to
build nuclear weapons. A second, Western, focus consists of arguing
with Russia and China over the proper level of concern about Iran´s
nuclear program. A third Western preoccupation is keeping Israel out
of the conversation.
So consider what would happen if Iran actually said it agreed to the
P5+1 terms on its nuclear program. Take the strictest version of the
possible terms: closing the Fordow plant, halting enrichment at
higher levels, moving enriched uranium out of the country, permitting
unfettered inspections by the IAEA. Add your own.
Three things you know:
-Iran will require an exchange of terms
-Iran will either comply with its commitments or not; and
-The larger picture will deteriorate.
Nothing is free – Iran will have demands including the end of
sanctions and international isolation. Not immediately, of course, or
even quickly, but sanctions would be lifted. Iran was circumventing
them anyhow, but the ability legally to purchase currently restricted
technologies would speed the upgrade of Iran´s arms industry. The end
of banking sanctions and the oil embargo would allow the treasury to
finance Iran´s interests at home and abroad. Iran wins.
The likelihood of Iran complying with its commitments is minimal. But
there would be hundreds if not thousands of hours, days and weeks of
new negotiations over whether and how the agreement is holding up.
Once a deal is struck, the Western powers will be loath to cancel it,
even when they know Iran is cheating. If the Israeli-
Palestinian "peace process" is any guide (and it is) the P5+1 will
try almost anything (modifying the terms, bribing the recalcitrant
party, denouncing anyone who points out evidence of cheating) to
avoid admitting that it was snookered. Iran wins.
If the West takes no action on the other Iranian activities, but
allows the regime to reclaim its place in the family of respectable
nations, each Iranian target will remain a target: dissident
Iranians, Sunnis including the Saudis, European capitals, Americans
and American interests, Western-oriented South Americans, Israel and
Jews. Russia and China will support Iran with no concern for American
disapproval. Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria (unless we act quickly),
Venezuela and Nicaragua will have their patron intact. Iran wins.
The whole thing is so rational as to make you wonder why Gen. Ganz´s
words caused such an uproar.
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