Many reputations on the line with this week’s diplomacy surrounding the Iranian nuclear issue.
After a year of much talk about
Mideast reconciliation but little publicly known substance to back it up, is now taking the next step. Turkey
First, in Washington Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated
’s willingness to accept Iranian uranium even though it is not clear that such a move would be acceptable to Turkey . Next, Davutoglu visited Tehran to discuss Iranian nukes [Hurriyet, Brazil 4/18/10] and will take the results of that effort at a joint position to this week. Tehran
Davutoglu, who visits Tehran regularly, told reporters in Washington last week that there has been a “change of approach” in Tehran recently resulting in acceptance “in principle” of a deal that would remove most of its enriched uranium from Iran [Zaman 4/19/10]. This would appear to meet the public terms set by
, but the longer the dispute lasts, the more Washington ’s nuclear infrastructure advances and therefore the less technical significance the specific issue of medical-grade uranium has. It seems increasingly apparent that the real stumbling block lies over the political question of whether or not the two sides wish to achieve progress. At the moment, Iran appears to find progress on the specific issue useful, while Tehran does not. State Department spokesman Washington dismissively remarked, “when you, you know, look behind the curtain, there's really nothing there,” a statement that appears to go out of its way to cast Crowley in a negative light. Indeed, Iran made it clear that Crowley ’s goal was not the specific issue of a trade of types of refined uranium but the broader issue of curbing Washington ’s overall nuclear program. Iran
Given the global sensitivity of sanctions imposed by the rich on the poor,
now has a golden opportunity to undermine Tehran ’s campaign by being forthcoming with Washington and Turkey . Its failure to do so will greatly strengthen Brazil ’s position, putting particular pressure on Washington and China to accept strengthened sanctions, and will embolden Westerners looking for a military solution. Turkey
Washington Reaction Will Offer Transparency into
’s Goals Washington
and Turkey manage to get Brazil on board and Obama reacts, this would constitute evidence for the hypothesis that he is looking for a compromise solution to the nuclear issue. On the other hand, if he rejects their move, it will lend credence to the hypothesis that the nuclear debate is primarily a cover for a Tehran effort to subordinate U.S. to U.S.-Israeli hegemony over the Iran Mideast. JCS Chairman Mullen's recent equating of an attack on Iran with an Iranian development of nuclear weapons as equally destabilizing suggests strong opposition to war but does not speak to the hypothesis that Washington may truly be maneuvering to leave Iran marginalized and alienated rather than an integrated member of the international community but still independent and possessing rising influence.
Meanwhile, as we await the details of the Turkish-Brazilian proposal that is evidently being formed, Erdogan’s credibility as the leader of a new
Mideast moderate movement is very much on the line. He has clearly articulated his position; it remains to be seen if he can put deliver.