NPT Review Conference: Can Ahmadinejad Seize the Moment?

The NPT review conference only occurs once every five years. This is Ahmadinejad’s chance. Will he blow it?
 
When Ahmadinejad arrives at the U.N. for May’s month-long NPT review conference, will he come with hubris and defiance or a skillful diplomatic effort to portray Iran as part of a moderate, reasoned global movement to create a nuclear-free Mideast?

Brasilia and Ankara are positively pleading with Tehran to give them something to justify a lowering of tensions, and that would probably please Moscow and Beijing as well. Even Cairo is now at least temporarily on Tehran’s side on this issue (perhaps fearing that more one-sided Western pressure will only serve to make Iranian acquisition of nuclear arms all the more likely).

Hypothesis: If Ahmadinejad takes a moderate pose and offers concessions, he will win big.

Supporting argument: Iran has pushed in-your-face confrontation pretty far; the elite has got to realize that Tehran is playing a very dangerous game…mostly to benefit Ahmadinejad’s career. Now Tehran has a marvelous opportunity to look good in a very high-profile context and right in Obama’s back yard. Countries are lining up to offer Iran support if only it will make some gesture to give them justification. A government would have to be truly inept to miss this chance. Ahmadinejad should thank Erdogan and Lula for their courage, thank Moscow and Beijing for their support, welcome “partnership” with Cairo to make the Mideast a safer place, and put something on the table that will get the attention of the IAEA.
Negating argument: Whatever Iran does will make absolutely no difference. The U.S. will continue bowing to the Israeli right, which pursues war fever for many reasons, only one of which is obsession with preventing any other country from defying Israel. Obama feels the need to play nice with conservatives on this emotional issue to protect his freedom to do liberal things on the medical and financial fronts. He is by nature not confrontational and will never take a stand on something this risky.
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4 comments on “NPT Review Conference: Can Ahmadinejad Seize the Moment?

  1. Why is it that the non-aggressor or the weak has to make concessions to the aggressor and the bully? How about a hypothesis where Obama takes a moderate pose and offers concessions? What if he takes an honorable and just pose and admits that he has been wrong all along and wants to correct the wrongs? He can go further and start withdrawal of all U.S. military and private mercenaries and contractors from across the world, beginning with Iran's back yard for good gesture. Then, he will win big.

    Let us substitute names and make few changes in the “Supporting” and “Negating” arguments:

    Supporting argument: USA has pushed in-your-face confrontation pretty far; the elite has got to realize that Washington is playing a very dangerous game…mostly to benefit Israel and Obama’s career. Now Washington has a marvelous opportunity to look good in a very high-profile context and right in Obama’s back yard. Countries will line up to offer Washington support if only it will make some gesture to give them justification. A government would have to be truly inept to miss this chance. Obama should thank Erdogan and Lula for their courage, thank Moscow and Beijing for their support to help him see his wrongs, welcome “partnership” with Cairo to make the Mideast a safer place, and put something on the table that will get the attention of the IAEA and the world.

    Negating argument: Whatever U.S.A. may like to do will have to first get the consent of Israel and that is not going to happen. The U.S. will continue bowing to Israel, which pursues war fever for many reasons, only one of which is obsession with preventing any other country from defying Israel. Obama feels the need to play nice with Israel and Israel Firsters on this emotional issue to stay in power for two terms and to protect his freedom to do whatever he wants on domestic front to serve his Wall Street friends and corporations that donate big bucks to his campaigns. He is by nature confrontational with countries whose leaders do not pay homage to U.S.A. and Israel. He lacks principles and will never take a stand on something this risky.

    By the way, Cairo under Husni Mubarak is the last place that can make the Mideast a safer place. Egypt is busy killing Palestinians with gas and live bullets. Egypt is also building the Death Wall with the help of U.S.A. and France to end the lifeline support of Palestinians in Gaza while Israel is deporting Palestinians from West Bank and Jerusalem to Gaza and stealing more of their lands. If Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei were to become president of Egypt, then Cairo could be a positive force in making the Mideast a safer place.

  2. Mills,
    Your negating argument is on target. The U.N. NPT conference is pure show and will have no impact on U.S. policy. Netanyahu will not attend because he does not care what the buzz around the U.N. is. After all, the Israeli right long since declared war on the U.N. anyway.

    It is hard to imagine any concession Iran could conceivably consider making that would satisfy the U.S.-Israeli neo-con war party short of some politically inconceivable submission to U.S. control emulating the Shah. This would amount to the voluntary resignation of the whole ruling elite of Iran.

    Neither Russia nor China will risk ties with the U.S. for Iran's sake. Brazil and Turkey do not weigh a tenth as much in biased US eyes as Israeli rightwingers, Unless we have a political earthquake, like the collapse of the Saudis or a military coup in Cairo, Washington's carefully orchestrated steamroller to flatten Iranian independence will keep right on moving.

  3. Veronica,
    Of course in a just world a victim should never have to make concessions to a bully. In the case of US-Iranian nuclear relations, Iran's record is less than pure, so the generalization does not apply exactly. Anyway, my point is simpler – Iran is facing a problem, and its tactics could be more effective.

    Consider Moscow's attitude. Moscow seems to be moving away from Iran. Exactly what would it take from Iran to keep Moscow satisfied? Moscow needs to be able to say, “Hey, Washington, I got you X, so now be satisfied.”

    Iranians claim to be chess players; perhaps they would be better off if they were to strut less and play chess more. For them, this is not just a game.

  4. Thank you Dr. William deB. Mills for your comment. I understand what you write and I like reading you Blog and your ideas but I have trouble compromising with unjust demands and constant threats. Giving in to bullies and unjust demands will only embolden them to demand and threaten more.

    Saddam Hussein compromised and cooperated; look what happened to him and his country. Taliban leaders of Afghanistan were willing to compromise before U.S.A.-NATO invaded Afghanistan; what did that get them? Palestinians have compromised many times; look where they are. Compromising with these two bullies has emboldened and encouraged them to become greater bullies and more dangerous.

    North Korea tested a nuclear weapon and recently threatened that if U.S.A. & South Korea were to try anything foolish against North Korea, it would drop nuclear bombs on them. See how U.S.A. has toned down its threats towards North Korea but continues to threaten Iran every day. Some South American countries are beginning to gain their freedom from being under U.S.A.'s boots because they are refusing to compromise with their tormentor. U.S.A.-Israel are not interested in compromise. They want it all and everything their way by threats and force.

    Ahmadinejad has already made a more than reasonable offer of a compromise on the medical uranium issue, considering that nuclear countries are obligated to provide NPT member countries nuclear fuel for peaceful use. If Iran were to ship its low enriched uranium out of Iran, even to a friendly country, and expect other countries to exchange with higher enriched uranium, Iran will be waiting forever and will lose whatever it already had. The exchange should take place in Iran and should be tested that the exchanged product functions properly.

    Moscow and Beijing will do whatever is good for themselves and not for what is just for Iran or other weaker countries, regardless of what Iran says or does. Russia has not lived up to its contractual agreements with Iran. It keeps delaying deliveries, using one excuse after another because of pressures from U.S.A. and Israel. Similarly, U.S.A. has not lived up to its past agreements, including agreements before Iran's Revolution with U.S. companies that were paid millions of dollars but never delivered and did not reimburse the money to Iran. There is no reason to trust these countries with future agreements.

    There are many steps these countries can take to stop the bullying by U.S.A. and Israel but that is another subject.

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