Iran-P5+1 Talks Progress Unbearable For Netanyahu – OpEd


The first round of multifaceted talks between the representatives of Iran and 6 world powers wrapped up on Saturday evening in the Turkish city of Istanbul, reviving hopes for a diplomatic, peaceful solution to the tedious controversy over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Not much has leaked out to the media and public as to the details of the talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, but what is clear is that both sides have been satisfied with the results and believe that the negotiations were a step toward finding a common ground based on which the talks can continue in the long-run.

For those who had followed the course of the previous talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Geneva and Istanbul, the statements of EU high representative for foreign policy affairs Catherine Ashton and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili who appeared in separate press conferences after the conclusion of the talks seemed quite unprecedented and promising. Both sides emphasized on the point that the talks had taken place in a “positive” and “constructive” environment and that the future may bring new hopes for cooperation and mutual understanding. This is something which the sworn enemies of Iran are extremely afraid of: a comprehensive diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear standoff.

It was almost for the first time that the European diplomats expressively backed Iran’s inalienable right to have access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

What must be taken into consideration is that the P5+1 dealers headed by Catherine Ashton of the EU officially testified to Iran’s nuclear rights in the framework of the nuclear non proliferation treaty (NPT). This is very important, because as a signatory to the NPT, Iran is entitled to enrich uranium to the extent which is usable in research reactors under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors. Prior to this, the U.S. officials adamantly demanded that Iran, regardless of its membership in the NPT, should suspend its uranium enrichment program altogether. But today, they have retreated from their position and shown some positive flexibility.

Iran’s talks with the P5+1 which are to be continued on May 23 in Baghdad at the request of Iran received widespread international attention. However, some of the major mainstream media, in line with their belligerent policies against Iran, tried to overshadow the positive approach of the two sides in their negotiations which had been halted for almost 14 months, undermining the keenness of Iran and Europe for reaching a multilateral and inclusive solution for the standoff. Tony Karon, a Time blogger wrote that the talks yielded “no breakthroughs or even substantial discussion … over specific proposals.” Other newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post also made efforts to put in the shade the constructive and satisfactory environment of the talks.

But the one who was the angriest man in the world after the talks were concluded was the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who couldn’t conceal his fury and annoyance from the media. A few hours after the talks were dismissed in Istanbul, Bibi met with the U.S. pro-Zionist Senator Joe Lieberman and said that “my initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie” to carry on with its nuclear program.

“I think Iran should take immediate steps to stop all enrichment, take out all enrichment material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “I believe that the world’s greatest practitioner of terrorism must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs.”

The bitter irony is that Netanyahu, representing the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism and the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East which has on its agenda the systematic and unrelenting massacre of the innocent Palestinian citizens, talks of Iran as a “practitioner of terrorism”.

Of course Bibi should be angry at the positive results of the talks between Iran and the P5+1. The constructive talks opened the window to a viable diplomatic solution for Iran’s nuclear program that will allay the concerns of both sides and protect the undeniable rights of the Iranian nation. On the one hand, Iran will demonstrate its goodwill to the West and take steps for easing the tensions and on the other, the West will show to Iran that it has abandoned the bullying and arrogant literature of the past, that it is committed to confidence-building and wants to enter dialog with Iran based on mutual respect and friendliness. All of these progresses are indigestible for Israel, an entity which sees antagonism with independent nations like Iran as the basis of its survival.

Unquestionably, the Saturday talks between Iran and the P5+1 constituted a breakthrough in the longstanding conflict over Iran’s nuclear program. If Europe and the U.S. keep up with their constructive attitude and refrain from making irritating statements or adopting unwarranted stances which may jeopardize Iran’s security or rights, such as intensifying the economic sanctions or talking of the possibility of a military strike, Iran will be engaged in the talks more practically and beneficially and the final outcome will be tangible and substantive for both sides.

By the end of the day, the success of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 will infuriate the Israelis the most.

Once a settlement is achieved over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, the world will point its fingers at Israel’s nuclear program which everybody knows is aimed at military purposes. Then, the wrath and fury of Bibi Netanyahu will be more understandable.

Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent.

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