U.S & Iran Can Find a Peaceful Solution- (Jay H Berman)


U.S. & Iran Can Find a Peaceful Solution

                                                                       By, Jay H. Berman

Iran declared last week that Western opposition would not slow its nuclear program. Talks between Tehran and world powers failed to reach an accord.

Production at two uranium mines and a yellow-cake plant ensued, marking Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day, according to its state news agency. The U.S. & allies are concerned that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. Talks between Iran and world powers held in Kazakhstan unfortunately last week failed to reach a breakthrough. But, this does not mean a viable solution acceptable to all is not within reach.

Cautious optimism seemed apparent in Kazakhstan on Friday when Western and Iranian negotiators began a round of nuclear talks. Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the U.S. met Iranian officials with another attempt to resolve a decade-long conflict over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran resists pressures and economic sanctions, arguing its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only. In February, world powers lessened their demands & sanctions that have been strangling Iran’s economy.

Western officials hoped discussion of specific points, (such as closing a nuclear facility and sending enriched uranium stockpiles abroad), might be exchanged in return for easing some sanctions. However, international nuclear inspectors reported Iran’s upgrade in its ability to enrich uranium. Both sides realistically must be serious about wanting a deal.

Military action against Iran is generally unpopular in the United States. Iran is also in a tight spot. Israel consistently declares its impatience with diplomacy. Tehran, under pressure from sanctions, worries economic distress may lead to civilian protests. They clearly don’t want such a scenario in the wake of upcoming June elections.

Vice-President Joe Biden made an offer of direct talks with Iran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader on Thursday rejected the offer. Many people involved think a deal that settles the nuclear issue is possible with direct U.S.-Iranian negotiations, despite such actions by Iran’s top leader.

For the U.S., where do we go from here? Sanctions and multilateral talks have not worked. Kerry & the State Dept. are working hard on a tough problem. Everyone involved favors a diplomatic solution. I include Iran – because for all their opposition to requests from the west – I cannot imagine they really want anything other than a peaceful culmination that they can live with.

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