Friday, January 4, 2013

"The Iranians won’t put expediency above dignity!"

"... While Tehran views a deal on its nuclear program as being in its self-interest, Western leaders need to grasp that it would be devastating for Iran’s aberu to take the first step solely in exchange for promises. The dominant discourse in Tehran portrays the 2004 decision by the former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami to suspend uranium enrichment on a voluntary, temporary basis as a failure because it resulted only in humiliating calls by the West for an indefinite suspension. The moral of this narrative is that placing maslahat above aberu, even temporarily, leads to nothing good.In the coming months, Iran is expected to again engage with the so-called P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, along with Germany). Mr. Obama and his team, including his chief Iran negotiator, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, should reflect on the meaning of maslahat and aberu. Understanding the Iranian mentality is key to grasping why the Iranians won’t put expediency above dignity. The only way to stop the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program from spinning out of control is to offer the Islamic Republic a face-saving way out...."

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