July 2015 the Iran Nuclear deal?

Posted: July 9, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I read an article on the Iran nuclear issue,  summarizing a webinar” held recently.   It was sponsored by a group interested in “driving significant change towards a non-violent and non-nuclear Iran”.  The panel included a US Ambassador and  former US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control &International Security a, Professor and former White House National Security Council senior staffer; all of which painted a dismal picture of the negotiations .

As a former military officer and accredited Peace Professional (Civilian Peace Services Canada)   I feel that the approaches to  negotiations were designed to make success as difficult as possible, if not very remote, and outcomes will be a source of further political conflict in the US.

I noted speakers expressing firm fixed views and in a classic example of misusing the practices of non violent communication language  (NVC Rosenberg) .   This involved “threats, accusations, blame” and ascribing apocalyptic, fear based outcomes as fact.    I detected the western predisposition to seeking a transactional outcome, without first achieving a relational partnership or any degree of sympathetic or shared  understanding between involved parties.

The Mideast is a hotbed of human rights abuses and war crimes violations, some from friends and allies.  The Mideast is not a nuclear weapons free zone.  We already have bad state actors with nuclear weapons, such as Korea,  and endured a long cold war under the threat of such weapons.  It is a fact that nuclear weapons are within the reach of any country with sufficient wealth and technology.  Right or wrong, it is not against international law to acquire or have nuclear weapons.  Right or wrong, we live in a world where states with sufficient power assert their will; and reserve the right to challenge any such ambitions, and to decide who they want to have political, social and economic relationships.

It would appear that a deal still allows the possibility of such weapons in a longer term, but no deal allows the possibility of weapons in the shorter term.  We know the cost of a strike or invasion in the mid east in this case could trigger a wider regional war with many 100,000s of lives being lost.  This would pale in comparison with the tragedies currently being experienced in the region.

I feel that there is no such thing as a bad deal in this case.  There is only a deal.  A deal that could open to possibilities of a non violent and relational partnership that in the longer term may have hope, or a deal that leads to disaster.  Words on paper are only words.  You cannot drink the word water.  Only behaviours will define the true nature of the relationship beneath the deal.

In my view, to ascribe hard goals and demands is to go down a road to failure.  Nothing in any deal will be perfect.  Whereas, to go down a road that is “response based” and relational, rather than “expectation based”, is to succeed every day that violence is held at bay.

Iran will do what Iran will do.  Nuclear weapons?  Maybe yes, or maybe no?  The question is:  Where is the debate about Plan B, the situation in which Iran acquires nuclear weapons?  How will we then live in peace with such a state?  Somehow this has to be about peace and not confrontation.

In peace.

Paul Maillet

Colonel (retired)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s