WORLD FUTURE FUND
AMERICA AND IRAN 2014
TIME TO GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
A POTENTIAL MAJOR TURNING POINT IN THE HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
"I have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed." U.S President Barack Obama
The current negotiations with Iran offer the best hope for ending the potential of an Iranian nuclear weapons program and creating greater chances for peace in the energy capital of today's world, the Middle East.
It is important for both America and Iran to look forward, not backward. Both nations have reason to be very angry about the past. The American people have still not forgotten the attack on their embassy and other hostile acts by Iran. One the other hand Iran has some very legitimate reasons to be angry with America. America overthrew an elected government in Iran in the 1950's. In the 1980's American spy satellites helped Saddam Hussein in the most massive use of chemical weapons since the Holocaust. In Iraq an American invasion killed over one million civilians. In terms of nuclear weapons America remains the only nation that has used nuclear weapons to wipe out entire cities full of civilians. Iranians are not likely to be impressed by lectures about the evils of "terrorism" from a country with this kind of track record.
In the case of Iran, religious and political liberties are not what they should be. Although they are far better than a place like Saudi Arabia, one of America's key allies. Iran's former President has made disgraceful statements about the Holocaust and Israel.
However, today Iran has new leader, who wants to go in a new direction. We are not going to speculate whether he is or is not "moderate". What we do know is the there is a sense of exhaustion on both sides about the cost of the current situation.
We believe now is an historic chance to work for peace in the Middle East. Negotiations need to be conducted on the basis of mutual respect and practical self interest. Both American and Iran are threatened by the rise of Sunni religious extremists and terrorists.
An end to Iran's nuclear ambitions could lead to the end of sanctions and a huge increase in jobs and prosperity for the energy capital of the world, the Persian Gulf.
Now, after years of sanctions, the U.S. looks like it actually has a chance of reaching a nuclear treaty through Obama's negotiations with Iran. An agreement was reached in Geneva in late 2013 that Iran would move closer towards ending their disputed nuclear program in return for a modest easing of economic sanctions. Establishing peace with Iran would be a landmark achievement for the U.S, not to mention that it would unleash many possibilities for trade and stability in the Persian Gulf.
OFFICIAL POSITIONS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE AND STATE DEPARTMENT
The White House has made it clear that they want to achieve a nuclear treaty via peaceful negotiations and not through additional sanctions - as some members of Congress have suggested. The current deal between the U.S. President and the Iranian people is that Iran will eliminate its stockpile of higher level enriched uranium and dismantle some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible. Iran has also agreed to not installing additional centrifuges or using next generation centrifuges. In return, the U.S, the U.K, France, Germany, Russia and China will agree to provide modest economic relief as long as Iran fulfills its nuclear obligations.
Statement from President Barack Obama: "Unprecedented sanctions and tough diplomacy helped to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and I'm grateful to our partners in Congress who share our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," he said. "Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation (White House, 1-12-14)."
"I have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed (White House, 1-12-14)."
Statement from Secretary of State John Kerry: "We have an obligation to give these negotiations an opportunity to succeed. And we can’t ask the rest of the P5+1 and our partners around the world to hold up their ends of the bargain if the United States isn’t going to uphold its end of the bargain. If we appear to be going off on our own tangent and do whatever we want, we will potentially lose their support for the sanctions themselves (State Department Website)."
THE HORROR OF WAR WITH IRAN
A WAR THAT WOULD CREATE ALL OUT WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
AND DRAG THE UNITED STATES EVEN FURTHER INTO DEBT
One key reason for peace with Iran is because the alternative is too grim to even consider. Iran is a nation with over 80 million people, with a formidable military of half a million armed forces, three million combat capable reserves and short and medium range missiles.
It is also not entirely certain that air-strikes would even succeed in taking out all of Iran's nuclear sites, given that there are more than a dozen nuclear facilities, many in difficult to reach locations, and there could be a dozen more sites that U.S. intelligence doesn't even know about. So peaceful negotiations would probably do more to reduce Iranian Nuclear capabilities (and at a much lower cost) than the demands of war.
The costs of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have already caused enough devastation to the U.S. economy - the total cost of war in Iraq has added up to more than $3 trillion (Washington Post). A war with Iran would be even more expensive and strike a crushing blow to the anemic U.S. economic recovery. Such a war could realistically drag on for more than a decade, and do to the size of Iran's population, would require an even greater number of forces than what was used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yet even worse, experts state that a U.S. war with Iran would unleash an all out war in the Middle East (Think Progress).
You can also read the official report at the Iran Project: Weighing the Benefits and Costs of Military Action Against Iran
We must also keep in mind that an all out war in the Middle East would further enrage the Pakistani people, who have an arsenal of an estimated 200 nuclear warheads.
THE BENEFITS OF A COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH IRAN
Aside from avoiding a powder keg in the Middle East, one topic that remains undiscussed is that Iran and America share many strategic interests that would be better served through active collaboration rather than war. Iran and America both have a mutual interest in the development of a peaceful Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the neutralization of Talibani and Sunni extremists. We will also emphasize that both Iran and America would benefit economically from a termination of sanctions on Iran. Iran would offer a lucrative target for U.S. investments, especially in terms of the oil and natural gas sector.
More of the benefits of a relationship between Iran and U.S are outlined in the following report: Iran and the United States: The Case for a Cooperative Relationship (International Center for Religion and Diplomacy)
MENENDEZ BILL FOR MORE SANCTIONS IN IRAN: