10/07/2009

Trial and error management of the Iranian issue

While in Iran, government repression gradually suppresses the protest, the international community is procrastinating on how to deal with the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic. The meeting between Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev and the G8 summit in L’Aquila in Italy were two occasions for the international community to change its position according to Iran, but it did not happen.

The statements by Joe Biden Sunday on CNN, however, blurred for a while the U.S. strategy vis-à-vis Iran. According to Biden, the United States  » cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do  when (…) their survival is threatened by another country ». Those words were interpreted by many analysts as the U.S. giving a green light to Israel. Obama then came to rescue his Vice-President reaffirming the U.S. commitment to a negotiated process with Iran and explaining that Joe Biden did nothing more than to recognize the sovereignty of Israel.

Nevertheless, it is curious to note that the « recognition of national sovereignty” by the United States seems to be granted parsimoniously. While it is first the sovereign right of Israel to hold the nuclear bomb (not officially but with the knowledge of all) Secondly, and then its right to threaten to attack Iran, it is not the sovereign right of the Iranian government to do the same vis-à-vis Israel. Non-interference remains subject of the principle to double standards.

However, the U.S. attitude remains for now the expectation concerning the nuclear issue or the unrest that followed the elections in Iran, but with a deadline which tends to move closer over time. During the meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu in past May, Barack Obama first admitted “a possible reassessment of the strategy of dialogue at the end of the year « (see our press review of 20/5/2009). Today the G8 leaders, including Russia, agreed to a reassessment of the situation at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in September.

The Obama administration now seems to include the Iranian nuclear issue in a broader context of global negotiations on denuclearization. But how long can he convince the rest of the world to follow in front of an Iran less and less politically correct and which also persists in its silence? While the prospect of a negotiated process that loses all day’s credibility, and the international community that seems to lose patience.

N.J.O.