Source: Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi's blog
Currently, the key problem in U.S.-Iran relations is Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Unsurprisingly, the latest round of nuclear discussions between Iran and the P5+1 closed without much progress. Whether they take place in Turkey or Kazakhstan, these talks are unlikely to produce results because they fail to deal with the core issue: mistrust between Iran and the US.
Hooshang Amirahmadi is a candidate in Iran's upcoming Presidential election. He has put forth a reform platform that seeks to resolve Iran's domestic issues and disputes with the West from a position of dignity and trust. He holds a Ph.D. in Planning and International Development from Cornell University and is a Professor of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers University. Click here to read more
Iran is a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and as such is entitled to enrichment for civilian use. The U.S. agrees but doubts Iran's intentions and holds that it must reassure the world of its peaceful intentions by accepting the terms that the U.N. Security Council has set for it (to suspend enrichment). Iran insists that its program is solely for civilian purposes and considers those terms unfair and maintains that it will not suspend enriching uranium.
The bottom line is this: Iran should reassure the U.S. and the world that its program is civilian in nature to continue enrichment, as otherwise it is almost certain that the dispute could lead to more sanctions against Iran and could even lead to a destructive war from which no nation will benefit, a war that could force Iran to move toward building a nuclear weapon.
If sanctions were to be lifted and a possible war is to be prevented (and the issue resolved), trust must be established between the United States and Iran. As an Iranian presidential candidate who has lived in both countries, worked with officials on both sides, and understands both languages and cultures, I am best suited to build that trust. Indeed, I am in a rare position to convince the U.S. and its Israeli and Arab allies (as well as European nations) that Iran can and should be trusted in its words and deeds. My many years of activism as a peacemaker between Iran and the US is an additional plus.
As I build trust, and in consultation with the Supreme Leader, I will work with these and other states, including members of the BRICS nations, to diplomatically end the dispute in the best interests of all involved and within the Iranian foreign policy framework of dignity, wisdom and expediency. I will propose a verifiable deal where the U.S. and its allies would openly accept Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear program as well as offer it security guarantees in return for Iran suspending uranium enrichment beyond five percent purity. For the sake of maximum transparency, Iran will implement the IAEA's Additional Protocol and respond to its questions, making the Agency able to verify Iran's peaceful intention.
My administration will also accept transferring any uranium enriched beyond five percent to outside Iran in return for fuel plates for Iran's research reactor in Tehran University (RRT) and the gradual lifting of sanctions. At this point, Iran's file must return to the I.A.E.A. and U.N. resolutions against Iran must be annulled. Then, I will push for the two sides to negotiate in earnest to mitigate tension in the broader relations on the basis of a comprehensive agenda that will include Iran's relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia. A key to a sustained regional peace then will be the formation of a regional security framework, establishment of a Palestinian state, and implementation of initiatives toward realizing a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Middle East.
Bio: Hooshang Amirahmadi is a professor and former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. He holds a PhD from Cornell University and is the founder and president of the American Iranian Council. He is also a Senior Associate Member at Oxford University in the U.K. His publications include The Political Economy of Iran under the Qajars, Revolution and Economic Transition, and three other books in Persian on civil society, industrial policy, and geopolitics of energy. Dr. Amirahmadi is also editor of ten books on Iran and the Middle East, and 16 conference proceedings on US-Iran relations, as well as numerous journal articles.
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