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Iran's Nuclear Program: Resolution or Merely Hope - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Is the crisis of the Iranian nuclear issue moving towards a solution that would please all the parties concerned, particularly Iran and the United States?

Recently, Notable and extremely important developments have taken place, which confirm that there is a new room for mobility and that a compromise solution might be presented to serve as a lifeline and a suitable way out that is acceptable to all sides involved.

As a start, Mohammad al-Baradei, general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], made several statements in which he stressed that it will take three to six years before Iran’s nuclear abilities are considered a serious matter and an accomplished fact. He said that with its current nuclear program, Iran “is not a threat.”

These statements were followed by US escalation. The United States used a sharper tone in threatening Iran and warned of more deterring measures, sanctions, and binding decisions. Then an Iranian official from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] made an aggressive statement in which he threatened to carry out unprecedented suicide operations in the Arabian Gulf region in retaliation for any resolutions against Iran.

Another development was manifest in Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal’s statement, which managed to extinguish the fire that had just started. Prince Saud proposed the creation of a uranium enrichment plant in a neutral country. This plant would fulfill the peaceful nuclear needs of all the states in the Arabian Gulf region. Iran welcomed this statement and the United States made a positive first response to it, but stressed its desire to study the proposal more thoroughly. It is obvious that there is space for rational and centrist moves in light of an uneasy and silly standoff.

Today, the future of the Gulf region and the Iranian nuclear standoff appears to be caught between the ability to manage the Iraqi lesson and learn how to manage crises and between the tense and inflexible administration in Iran, which has a “Samsonian” approach in dealing with others that is based on the concept that “if harm shall befall me then it shall befall my enemies too.” However, this concept has developed into “if harm shall befall me then it shall befall my enemies, my friends, and others too.” This would not have been the case had Israel not been allowed “in principle” to act as a renegade state that bends and violates all norms and laws through its noncompliance with UN Security Council resolutions and the decisions issued by international organizations.

This situation has stimulated the appetite of the states of the region to embark on nuclear programs that have exhausted them on the development level at the expense of education, health, and infrastructure, thus causing the region more pain and causing it to face many more difficulties. It is no longer acceptable or wise for the Middle East to continue to allow all kinds of “violations” in its region, including violations that have to do with the environment, human rights, and nuclear programs. If the international community does not impose on Israel the same conditions and standards it uses in dealing with others, this behavior will remain a disgrace to this community in the first place. Accordingly, other states will find all its demands unconvincing. The compromise solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff that we have on the table today is a suitable way out that all sides need to adopt without any rigidity. However, the best solution is to apply the same moral standards to all states.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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