Thursday, July 17, 2014

Iran blows horn on BRIC announcement of support for her nuclear power program

It was only this past Sunday that the Iranian Foreign Minister declared, on NBC's Meet the Press, that Iran did not need nor seek nuclear weapons, proudly declaring her strengths in the development of world class scientists and scholars, her increasing strength in the region of the Middle East, and the need 'for a new paradigm' that seeks to overturn the 'cold war' mindset of the importance and need for superior (nuclear) weapons. He pointed to 9/11 as an example of how the most militarily powerful nation on earth, the U.S., was nevertheless stricken in one of the most devastating attacks on her soil in history as another argument in favour of his 'new paradigm.'
Whether the Iranians, including their supreme Ayatollah, are preparing a public relations campaign that will attract nations outside the Group of Five + 1 with whom they are currently negotiating (with very limited success, demonstrating large "gaps" to use Secretary of State, John Kerry's word between the Iranian position and that of the other countries) or whether they are seeking even larger reach in their determination to become the dominant power in the Middle East, the public relationship campaign seems to be attracting interest from countries whose influence is only going to continue to rise over the next decade. And, of course, the Iranians are not restrained in their efforts to blow their own horn about any success to which they can point that might cause the U.S. especially, and the other negotiating partners some chagrin.
Today, from the Tehran Times, we find this piece of information that might generate a ripple of anxiety in the room where negotiations are being held:
The group of the five BRICS countries has thrown its support behind Iran’s nuclear energy program, saying the Islamic Republic has an inalienable right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
"We recognize Iran's inalienable right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a manner consistent with its international obligations," the leaders of the BRICS group said in a statement.
The BRICS group is an association of five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
In an official statement on Tuesday, the BRICS leaders who met in Fortaleza, Brazil, expressed hope that the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the world powers - Russia, U.S., China, Britain, France, and Germany – would achieve a long-lasting solution to the decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
"While reiterating our view that there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, we reaffirm our support to its resolution through political and diplomatic means and dialogue," the statement said. (Tehran Times, July 16, 2014)
As Chrystia Freedland reminded her colleagues from the United States, on GPS this past Sunday, the United States is going to have to become much more accustomed to a multilateral world in which her influence will  be less dominant and this announcement from Tehran is just another sign of the changing times in geopolitics. Notice, that both Russia and China are among the BRIC countries, something the United States will have to both ingest and digest as it continues to evolve foreign policy in a world in which the hard power of the Pentagon, long the insurance policy and the tranquillizing drug of American pride and security in being number one, no longer holds the same capacity or strength to cover the losses in U.S. confidence that have seen her manipulate, dominate and control (both for better and for worse) many of the geopolitical boiling pots of the last half century.
And in both recognition and acceptance of this new multilateral, multidimensional, evolving and potentially dangerous new world order, President Obama is almost too far out in front of the American people, especially those in the conservative flank of the Republican party, who continue to think and to talk as if solutions to major and minor conflicts can be imposed by the force of an AK47, or a U.S. drone strategically deployed, or an "air strike" on a delinquent regime like that of Assad in Syria, without having to both engage in and endure the seemingly interminable confusion, bloodshed and shifting allegiances of most of the parties, especially the terrorists, whose primary aim seems to be obfuscation, linked to the singular development and deployment of primitive weapons and sacrificial martyrs and the complexities of religious holy wars premised on radical and unholy interpretations of some holy book. And, of course, for his 'vision' of the complexity of the landscape that is both evolving and revolving faster than the exit door at Microsoft where some 18,000 jobs will be cut this year, Obama is pilloried as being too soft, too weak, too Carter-like, and too detached from the reality of too many situations.
Sanctions imposed on Iran, tougher than previous ones, seem to have brought Iran to the negotiating table at least, if they do not result in some agreement.
Sanctions imposed on Putin, and his cronies, are at least making the Russian 'bear' squirm and squeal about the "bully" Obama in one of the more memorable ironies of the pot calling the kettle black.
Obama's Secretary of State, however, seems to be whirling like some mad painter throwing a different colour of paint at each of the many canvases he is attempting to "cover" in too many capitals, almost simultaneously, without producing either 'art' or agreements, that would bring the temperature of international relations down a few degrees Celsius. And so, as the BRIC's rise, and the shadow grows on the military might of the United States, the world watches and crosses its fingers, legs, toes and arms, in what Bob Shieffer of CBS calls the "most dangerous moment in world affairs since the cold war" assessment that seems both reasonable and responsible.

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