We have been witnessing the ever intensifying catastrophic news of repetitive costly policies, military failures and human loss from southwest Asia aka the Middle East for the past few decades. However, the long anticipated historic nuclear accords between the P5+1 countries and Iran, the fortuitous fruits of the longest diplomatic brinkmanship ever, is now poised to set a new milestone for non-confrontation and dialogue the progressive ramifications of which will reverberate internationally for decades to come. The skeptics and cynics in both countries must fully understand there were two paths: waging yet another costly and unilateral preemptive war of aggression which would be far more catastrophic than the wars of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya combined, or opting for negotiations, leveraging and ratifying this historic treaty and snapping back sanctions. And if the legislators, ultraconservative think tanks, lobbyists in either Iran, the US or a third country such as Israel or Saudi Arabia sabotage and break this historic deal, they must be held responsible and face the consequences of their actions.
When fully implemented and verified, this historic accord will be the testament that mutually dignified behavior and respectful dialogue should be the first option in a conflict to be comprehensively exhausted by all peaceful means before resorting to unilateral preemptive overt or covert military actions, provocations, espionage or sabotage. It is in that spirit that as a goodwill gesture the four Americans held in Iran, on charges which many consider politically motivated and anchored on fictitious allegations, must be immediately released and repatriated home. The government of Iran must pass laws and guarantees to avoid such future incarcerations, including for the four million Iranians in diaspora many of whom remain highly apprehensive about visiting their families. When this dilemma is resolved, it will demonstrate that Iran is serious about rebuilding the country based on open, transparent and fair trade and cultural exchanges. With the rapidly fading slogan of the Great Satan disappearing into history, it is also crucial that the 150 year yearning of Iranians for reforms, transparency, the rule of law, civil society, equality, blind justice and peace in a national ambiance of security and sovereignty prevail. In retrospect, these were the exact ideals on which the popular dissent in the late 70s was based and which subsequently led to the 1979 revolution.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and after the despicable terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Southwest Asia has been reined in by one hegemonic superpower for the past two decades. Iran has had nearly three millennia of continuous government whereby its borders have been exclusively based on natural boundaries (rivers, seas, mountains, etc.) Newer countries carved out of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East and North Africa have borders which were literally drawn by a ruler on maps by the Occidental colonialists, especially the British and the French, in 1921 and later by the Sheikdoms south of the Persian Gulf in 1972. This includes the unilateral establishment of Israel as a Jewish State, never mind its mistreatment of Christian and Muslim Palestinians, which gave inalienable rights to millions of Ashkenazi Ã©migrÃ©s from Eastern Europe over its own indigenous Mizrahi and native Sephardim Jews while discriminating against Ethiopian and North African Jews. That notwithstanding, no one can question the merit for a sovereign and secure Israel in this volatile region but not at the blatant cost of inflicting systematic atrocities, incognito support for terrorist and shadowy organizations, maintaining the largest stockpile of undeclared nuclear warheads, land and resource confiscation policies, occupation and annexations and injustices committed for nearly seventy years. When questioned by the international community, Israel simply denies or dismisses the above allegations and at times fallaciously rationalizes its actions for “defensive purposes.” Is it not time for the establishment of a unified secular Israel that includes the West Bank and Gaza, be it Jewish or Palestinian, where every citizen has one vote and equal opportunities?
Ironically the early Israelite tribes, founded by the patriarch Abraham
born in Ur west of the city of Susa, were neighbors to then Persia/Iran and many were assimilated into Persian society. It is not, therefore, surprising to read many historians and religious scholars ascribe many texts and beliefs in the Torah to have emanated from the Persian Zoroastrian book Avesta.
Despite what “imperfect” regimes have been in power, Iran has not invaded any other neighbor for at least 250 years. Instead Iran has often been inflicted with military aggression. The imposed 8-year Iraq war on Iran alone, instigated and supported by the West, cost Iran a million military and civilian dead, millions physically and psychological injured, and over a trillion dollars. Paradoxically, this included a large number of civilians killed or injured by the use of chemical weapons manufactured and licensed in the West. One should only note the initial impetus by the West and Israel, financed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, that provided ideological and financial backing for terrorist groups as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians and the other four Arabs were indoctrinated in Saudi Madrasas.
As the ramifications of the historic nuclear deal reverberate through the region and the West, we will inevitably face the emergence of a few, nonetheless highly organized, well financed and vocal hardliners (especially in the US and Iran) who resort to lobbying and use of the media to try to derail the nuclear deal. Both US and Iranian lawmakers must remain proactively vigilant to circumvent such subversive diversions. It is time US foreign policy is first and foremost measured by its impact on our own national security and our own long-term strategic interests and not for the sake of supporting failed policies in the region, be it in Israel or Saudi Arabia.
The Author,“¯born in Iran in a diverse family comprised of Shiite and Sunni Muslims as well as Baha’i, Jewish, Armenian/Assyrian Christians and Zoroastrian lineage, is a naturalised American Professor who has resided in the US for nearly forty years. As the steward of nature, she has come to believe in and advocate for secular universal humanism, equal [blind] justice and peace for all on earth.Tags: Middle-East
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This post was written by Rachel Kohan