I.R. of IRAN
     


splendor of Persepolis lasted only two centuries. Its majestic audience halls and residential palaces perished in flames when Alexander the Great conquered and looted Persepolis not long before the death of Dariush III , in 330 BC , and carried away its treasures on 20 ,000 mules and 5 ,000 camels 'Bull's had from the top of a column, Limestone. Southwestern Iran, excavated at Istakhr, near Persepolis.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. The country is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, with Kazakhstan and Russia to the north across the Caspian Sea, on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by Turkey.

Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. The first dynasty in Iran formed in 2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified Iran into an empire in 625 BC. In 633 CE, Muslim armies invaded Iran, and had conquered the region by 651 CE. The emergence in 1501 of the Safavid dynasty, which promoted Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of their empire, marked one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. The Persian Constitutional Revolution established the nation's first parliament in 1906, within a constitutional monarchy. Following a coup d'état instigated by the UK and US in 1953, Iran gradually became a more autocratic country. Growing dissent with foreign influence culminated during the Iranian Revolution which led to the establishment of an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979.

Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC and OPEC. The political system of Iran is syncretic, based on the 1979 constitution, and combines elements of a modern Islamic theocracy run by the country's clergy with parliamentary democracy. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader.

Shia Islam is the official religion and Persian is the official language. Iran is home to one of the richest artistic traditions in world history and encompasses many disciplines, including architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking and stonemasonry. Carpet-weaving is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia. Persians were among the first to use mathematics, geometry, and astronomy in architecture.

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Dr. Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the I.R. of Iran, visited the Netherlands 23 June, 2016. During the visit, Dr. Zarif provided an overview and analyses of the regional political situation, a.o. the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 and EU. “In case the other party does not abide by its commitments, fortunately Iran has the capability to return to the previous status and we can- if we deem necessary- obtain 100,000 SWUs in less than a year and a half thanks to the new generation centrifuges.”

Non-zero-sum games
Minister Zarif condemned killing in the name of religion, and claimed that any foreign policy should look beyond force alone: ”one cannot kill extremism”. Similarly, with respect to domestic politics in the Netherlands: ”one cannot battle hatred by curtailing immigration”. In order to solve international issues, we must first define them in a non-zero-sum way: (4) “Syria needs political rather than military solutions for peacebuilding”. Warning against the military strategy of deterrence, Minister Zarif explained that “after all, nuclear first strike capability means that you can demolish anyone. Second strike capability means that you can only demolish your attacker”.

Negotiating over an orange
Analogically, Minister Zarif asks us to imagine that a mother has one orange for her two children. Her daughter wants to make orange juice and her brother wants to bake an orange cake. From a distributive bargaining (zero-sum) perspective, they risk to end up with both getting half an orange. However, the daughter could also press the entire orange before giving the peel to her brother that he can then zest for his cake. This integrative (non-zero-sum) solution enables the brother to get 105% rather than 50%, as his sister even peels the orange for him. Negotiations trainers also use this famous orange anecdote to illustrate the distinction between negotiators’ positions (what: the orange) from their interests (why: their desired end product). (5) Similarly, Zarif emphasized that the West and Iran need to find common ground in peacebuilding efforts: “your security is our security”.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
The USA and Iran showed such a mindset the nuclear deal of summer 2015 that enabled Iran to re-enter the global market. More specifically, Iran, the P5+1 and the EU had agreed upon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna. (6) The JCPOA has committed Iran to reduce its nuclear program in exchange for gradually lifting economic sanctions against Iran. (7) Zarif: “the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and I have gotten to know each other pretty well during 400 days of negotiations”.  

At this Clingendael event, commentator Paul Aarts (9) recalls that Minister Zarif has stated that “the US needs to do way more”, while Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor Valiollah Seif even has judged that “nothing has happened”. (10) Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in his turn keeps claiming that “the Americans are engaged in obstruction and deception”. This makes Aarts wonder: “why such forceful language? Could it be that Iran is disappointed because the deal – in a mood of triumphalism – was sold domestically as delivering wholesale sanctions relief?”

Iran’s foreign policy and Syria
Referring to Iran’s military efforts in Syria to support the Assad regime, (11) Aarts wonders how to explain what the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ al-Quds Force, General Qassem Suleimani, has stated on Bahrain: “if the government of Bahrain continues oppressing its Shi’ite majority, the only outcome would be the destruction of this bloodthirsty regime”. Aarts: “this happened after the government had revoked the citizenship of Bahrain’s main Shi’ite spiritual leader, Sheikh Isa Qassim. The general seems to have fallen into the trap that was set for Iran by the al-Khalifa family in Bahrein, very likely in close collaboration with Saudi Arabia. For – as we may expect – these fierce statements by Suleimani will not sit well in Western capitals and can be used to undermine the rapprochement between Iran and the West. And, as some speculate, conservative forces within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran are unhappy with the Syria file. So how unified is Iran’s leadership actually about the Syria file and the fate of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad?”.

<- image: Mehr News Agency

Diverse views
In response, Minister Zarif stressed that Iran is not as indivisible or unchangeable as it is often portrayed: “the diversity of views in pluralist societies such as the UK and the USA does not surprise anyone – not even the varying views among Tories on, for instance,  the Brexit issue. Well, Iran is not a monolith either: we have different vocabularies within Iran as well.”
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The Iranian nuclear programme has been the subject of more than a decade of diplomatic negotiations between the “5+1” group of states representing the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran. On 2nd April, negotiators reached solutions on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The final stretch of negotiations is set to expire on June 30th, when the protagonists are expected to conclude a historical “comprehensive” resolution that will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme and the comprehensive lifting of all sanctions.

30 June 2015, CEPS discussed: So what exactly are the key parameters of the proposed solutions on this nuclear issue to reach this goal? Under what conditions will the economic sanctions be gradually eased? And what commitments will be accepted by Iran? How will the IAEA be able to verify the permanent limitation of different aspects of the nuclear programme, including its military component? And how will the final deal impact on regional peace and security?

Speakers: Majid Golpour, Professor, Sorbonne/ULB, Sadegh Zibakalam, Political Analyst and Professor, Tehran University, Jin Liangxiang, Research Fellow, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Fernando Garces de los Fayos Tournan, Principal Administrator DG EXPO, European Parliament, Mostafa Zahrani, Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran, Ambassador Selim Yenel, Permanent Delegation of Turkey to the EU, Hillel Newman, Division for Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ashraf Mohamed Keshk, Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies, Elliott Abrams, Council for Foreign Relations.

14 July 2015, #BREAKING: #Iran & major powers reach historic #IranDeal : Iranian and western diplomats confirm.

 

The six world powers and Iran have reached an agreement on the dismantling of the nuclear program of the West Asian country. Both Western and Iranian diplomats did let know, the ANP reports.
Insiders say that there is a draft agreement. There should be negotiated only about details in formulation. Iran would give western inspectors full access to its nuclear complexes. In exchange for the dismantling of the program, the international sanctions against the country and the UN arms embargo will be reduced
.

         
Iran and world powers strike initial nuclear deal

In Tehran, residents took to the streets late Thursday, waving flags from cars to celebrate the outline agreement, which sets the stage for work on a final accord over the next three months. "We are very happy, so happy. We haven't make any big progress in 10 years, we are very happy that we can finally go forward," a local resident named Musa said. "It's a real victory for us."

Another Tehran resident, Mina, added: "I'm so happy when seeing the cheerful crowds around me. We can finally step out of those pressures. You can see Iranians are friendly, and we have a long history. We are not against of any country in the world." Before taking off from Geneva, Zarif was pictured on his official plane being greeted and posing for photos with traveling reporters.

Diplomats involved in the talks have spent 18 months in broader negotiations that had to be extended twice due to an inability to bridge wide gaps in positions since they reached an interim accord in November 2013. After marathon talks in Lausanne, Iran agreed on limits on its program on uranium and plutonium development — two means of building a nuclear bomb. It also agreed to accept international inspections on its nuclear facilitates.

The United States, Iran and five other world powers have sealed a breakthrough framework agreement outlining limits on Iran's nuclear programme to keep it from being able to produce atomic weapons. Reading out a joint statement on Thursday evening, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said a "decisive step" has been achieved.

"This is a crucial decision laying the agreed basis for the final text of joint comprehensive plan of action. We can now start drafting the text and annexes," said Mogherini, who has acted as a coordinator for the six powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

The US and Iran each hailed the efforts of their diplomats over eight days of marathon talks in Swiss city of Lausanne.

Speaking at the White House, US President Barack Obama called it a "good deal" that would address concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions. The US president said that the US and its allies had "reached a historic understanding with Iran".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called it a "win-win outcome".

The Islamic Republic has been promised an end to years of crippling economic sanctions, but only if negotiators transform the plan into a comprehensive pact by June 30.

'Solid foundation'

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the agreement in Lausanne was a "solid foundation for a good deal".

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Lausanne, said that US diplomats still faced the challenge of convincing opposition Republican dissenters in Congress, and its strongest ally, Israel, that the deal was sufficient. "There are a lot of places where this deal will not be accepted and one of those is Israel," Bays said.

Obama said his security officials would be working with Israel and Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, to make sure their concerns are addressed.

Israel voiced its "strong opposition" to the deal. In a phone conversation with Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a final deal based on this agreement "would threaten the survival of Israel".

House Speaker John Boehner said it would be "naive to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear programme, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region."

But Obama said that the issues at stake are "bigger than politics". "These are matters of war and peace," he said, and if Congress kills the agreement "international unity will collapse, and the path to conflict will widen. The deal will limit Iran's nuclear activity to the Natanz plant and reduce the number of centrifuges it operates from 19,000 today to just over 6,104. Iran has also agreed to not build any new facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium for 15 years.

Zarif said the countries had agreed an elaborate mechanism if any of the parties to the agreement "returned to old practices" and reneged on their obligations. "We will not allow excuses that will allow a return to the old system," Zarif said.

Mogherini said the seven nations would now start writing the text of a final accord. She cited several agreed-upon restrictions on Iran's enrichment of material that can be used either for energy production or in nuclear warheads. She said Iran will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.

Sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programmes would be suspended by the US, the United Nations and the European Union after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran's compliance.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies.

Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, reached a historic understanding with Iran. If fully implemented, this framework will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, making our nation, our allies, and our world safer.

For decades, Iran has been advancing its nuclear program. When I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges -- which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb -- and was concealing a secret nuclear facility. I made it clear that the United States was prepared to find a diplomatic resolution, if Iran came to the table in a serious way. But that didn't happen. So we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history, profoundly impacting Iran's economy. Sanctions couldn't stop Iran's nuclear program on their own, but they helped bring Iran to the negotiating table. And after many months of tough and principled diplomacy, the United States -- joined by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union -- achieved the framework for a deal that will cut off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.

I want you to understand exactly what this deal entails:

First, it stops Iran from pursuing a bomb using plutonium, because Iran will not develop weapons-grade plutonium. The core of its reactor at Arak will be dismantled and replaced. The spent fuel from that facility will be shipped out of Iran for the life of the reactor. Iran will not build a new heavy-water reactor. And Iran will never reprocess fuel from its existing reactors.

Second, it shuts down Iran's path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed to reduce its installed centrifuges by two-thirds. It will no longer enrich uranium at its Fordow facility, and it will not enrich uranium with its advanced centrifuges for at least the next 10 years. And the vast majority of its stockpile of enriched uranium will be neutralized.

Third, it provides the best possible defense against Iran's ability to pursue a nuclear weapon in secret. Iran has agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran's nuclear program -- from uranium mills that provide the raw materials, to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program. If Iran cheats, the world will know.

In return for Iran's actions, the international community has agreed to provide Iran with relief from certain sanctions -- our own sanctions, and international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This relief will be tied to the steps Iran takes to adhere to the deal. And if Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place. Meanwhile, other American sanctions on Iran -- for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, and its ballistic missile program -- will be fully enforced.

Now, our work is not yet done. Negotiators will continue to work through the details of how this framework will be fully implemented, and those details matter. And let me be clear: If Iran backslides, and the verification and inspection mechanisms don't meet the specifications of our nuclear and security experts, there will be no deal. But if we can get this done, and Iran follows through on the framework that our negotiators agreed to, we will be able to peacefully resolve one of the gravest threats to the security of our nation, our allies, and the world.

Thank you, President Barack Obama

Teheran

24 September 2014: Lovely hashtag HassanRouhani: Meeting with euHvR, President of the European Council. Constructive Engagement. April 2, 2015 a tentative nuke deal was agreed.

ENGAGING WITH IRAN: A EUROPEAN AGENDA

According to ECFR, Europe can now move beyond its exclusive nuclear focus with Iran, should explore whether Iran can deliver more constructively on regional issues, should endorse an ambitious initiative on regional security, and should also establish a formal structure for deepening its diplomatic and economic relations with Iran, including the negotiation of an energy partnership >>

IRAN’S NEIGHBOURS AND A NUCLEAR DEAL

ECFR published in December 2014 the following notes: 'The outcome of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme and the continuing conflict in Syria remain major stumbling blocks to improving Tehran’s relationship with its regional neighbours. The centrepiece of the Rouhani presidency has been attempts to reach a deal with the E3+3 countries (Germany, France, UK, Russia, US and China) on Iran’s nuclear programme. A resolution of the nuclear standoff and the dismantling of sanctions would be a victory for President Rouhani. However the prospect of a less isolated Iran may not be welcomed by hardliners in Riyadh or Jerusalem and reshaping Iran’s relationship with these and other neighbours will be a key challenge for Tehran. 

The E3+3 and Iran have managed to insulate nuclear negotiations from the conflict in Syria and Iraq. But the emergence of a common threat from ISIS, the West’s desire for regional cooperation and bridge building with Iran has elicited mixed reactions in the Gulf. Authors contributing to the latest issue of Gulf Analysis assess Iran’s relationships with Saudi Arabia, Israel, the smaller Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Turkey and Hezbollah:

  • Riyadh’s initial cautious optimism about the new President Rouhani disappeared amid Saudi fears of a US rapprochement with Iran. The extension of the E3+3 nuclear negotiations has kept Riyadh-Tehran rivalries alive while the GCC has failed to present a united front against a purported Iran threat.

  • Israel believes the extension of the deadline to mid-2015 is Tehran playing for time to build a nuclear weapon and that Rouhani is not in charge of Iranian security policy. The dominant Israeli government view opposes a nuclear deal and is actively working with a Republican US Congress to prevent further progress.

  • the smaller GCC states have a less antagonistic relationship with Iran but look to the US for approval before pursuing closer ties. Pointed is the UAE’s conciliatory approach to Tehran and improving economic links, Qatar’s strategic ties through shared ownership of gas assets, Oman’s shared sovereignty over the Straits of Hormuz and Kuwait’s recent trade agreement with Iran.

  • Turkey’s growing economic and security cooperation with Iran has not resulted in aligned political priorities in the wider Middle East. Syria’s Assad regime is opposed by Ankara but supported by Tehran. However Turkey’s border security concerns over ISIS could be central to its future relationship with Iran.

  • a shared commitment to the survival of the Assad regime and the fight against ISIS means Hezbollah’s political and paramilitary relationship with Iran is unlikely to change significantly in the coming years. The group’s critical link is to Iran’s Supreme Leadership.'

'Diplomatic Spin: EU3+3 talks on Iran's nuclear file' is a commentary from 21 November 2014, drafted by Steven Blockmans (CEPS). The paper presents various views on the state of affairs and is prepared based on the following four aspects:
1. Narrowing the gap;
2. A hostile international environment;
3. Domestic challenges and;
4. A limited extension of the talks.


On 19 March 2014, Dr Gary Samore lectured on the Iranian nuclear deal titled 'A Step towards a Middle East without Weapons of Mass Destruction?' In keeping with the Nuclear Security Summit that gathered The Hague, he spoke about one of the most significant nuclear security challenges confronting the international community; the importance of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons as one of the main requirements to maintain international peace and security.
He focussed remarks on the current negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) – under the direction of EU Foreign Policy chief Cathy Ashton - to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue and put forward prospects for achieving a diplomatic agreement that addresses international concerns about Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities
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The 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 - which was greeted with so much controversy and criticism - seems to be moving ahead very smoothly. Based on the implementation agreement of 20 January 2014, Iran has already taken the most significant steps to freeze or roll back key elements of its nuclear program and allow increased monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to the most recent IAEA report on 20 February 2014, Iran has suspended enrichment above 5% and halted installation of additional centrifuges at the Natanz and Fordow enrichment facilities, begun to dilute or convert its existing stockpile of 20% enriched uranium, and halted major construction of the Arak heavy water research reactor. See here the full lecture.

     
On January 20th, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had been implementing its commitments as part of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) agreed with the so-called ‘E3+3’ in Geneva (also known as P5+1) on 24 November 2013. The forging of this interim deal, the successful start to its implementation and the temporary sanctions relief represent resounding success for international diplomacy but they should not be allowed to conceal the underlying issues. Reaching agreement on the JPA was achieved at the cost of clarity over what is to follow and it was decided to eschew a structured agreement in favour of a two-step process. The stated aim of the negotiating parties remains that of starting the implementation of a comprehensive solution by November 2014. If agreement is not reached on a comprehensive solution by the expiry of the JPA by July 20th, the action plan can be renewed by mutual consent. The latter might well be the likeliest outcome of the forthcoming negotiations. Apart from the large gap between the E3+3 and Iranian positions on the substance of a final deal, several domestic policy constraints will likely define the parameters of what is achievable in the future.

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The CEPS Policy Brief 'Next steps toward a final deal with Iran' argues that the best hope for success lies in continued engagement and consistent incremental progress in the negotiations, with structured concessions on both sides. This should occur, however, not in a two- but a three-step framework based on lengthening Iran’s ‘breakout’ period while re-engaging with the country both politically and economically. The EU is in a unique position to lead this process. Having greater flexibility than either the US or Iran, its main tasks will be that of maintaining the negotiating momentum and broadening dialogue with Iran.

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WHAT IRAN WANTS IN 2014 (Reuters 8 January 2014):

TEHRAN – 'When I campaigned to become President of Iran, I promised to balance realism and the pursuit of the Islamic Republic’s ideals – and won Iranian voters’ support by a large margin. By virtue of the popular mandate that I received, I am committed to moderation and common sense, which is now guiding all of my government’s policies. That commitment led directly to the interim international agreement reached in November in Geneva on Iran’s nuclear program. It will continue to guide our decision-making in 2014.

Indeed, in terms of foreign policy, my government is discarding extreme approaches. We seek effective and constructive diplomatic relations and a focus on mutual confidence-building with our neighbors and other regional and international actors, thereby enabling us to orient our foreign policy toward economic development at home. To this end, we will work to eliminate tensions in our foreign relations and strengthen our ties with traditional and new partners alike. This obviously requires domestic consensus-building and transparent goal-setting – processes that are now underway.

While we will avoid confrontation and antagonism, we will also actively pursue our larger interests. But, given an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, challenges can be addressed only through interaction and active cooperation among states. No country – including big powers – can effectively address on its own the challenges that it faces. Indeed, developing and emerging economies’ rapid “catch-up growth” suggests that their aggregate economic weight is about to surpass that of the advanced world. Today’s developing and emerging countries are likely to account for nearly 60% of world GDP by 2030, up from around 40% in 2000, enabling them to play a much greater role on the world stage.

In such a period of transition, Iran can enhance its global role. The election this year, in which close to 75% of eligible voters turned out, showed how our religious democracy is maturing. Iran’s ancient culture and civilization, long state continuity, geopolitical position, social stability amid regional turmoil, and well-educated youth enable us to look to the future with confidence, and aspire to assume the major global role that our people deserve – a role that no actor in global politics can ignore. We are also considering how to rebuild and improve our bilateral and multilateral relations with European and North American countries on the basis of mutual respect.

This requires easing tensions and implementing a comprehensive approach that includes economic ties. We can begin by avoiding any new strain in relations between Iran and the United States and, at the same time, endeavoring to eliminate inherited tensions that continue to mar relations between our countries. While we may not be able to forget the mistrust and suspicion that have haunted Iranians’ thinking about US governments for the last 60 years, now we must focus on the present and look to the future. That means rising above petty politics and leading, rather than following, pressure groups in our respective countries.

In our view, cooperating on issues of mutual interest and concern would contribute to easing tensions in our region as well. This means countering those in the US and our region who seek to distract international attention from issues in which they are directly involved and prevent Iran from enhancing its regional status. By diminishing the prospects for a permanent negotiated agreement on our nuclear program, such behavior increases the likelihood that the Iran-US standoff will continue.

Our region is grappling more than ever with sectarianism, group enmities, and potential new breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism. At the same time, the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria could haunt the region’s peoples for many years. We believe that, under such circumstances, a voice of moderation in the region could affect the course of events in a constructive and positive way. There is no doubt that the turmoil in nearby countries affects the interests of many regional and global actors, which need to act in concert to ensure long-term stability. Iran, as a major regional power, is fully prepared to move in this direction, sparing no effort to facilitate solutions. So those who portray Iran as a threat and thus seek to undermine its regional and global credibility should cease – in the interest of peace and tranquility in the region and beyond.

I am profoundly disturbed over the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and the enormous suffering that the Syrian people have endured for almost three years. Representing a people who have experienced the horror of chemical weapons, my government strongly condemned their use in the Syrian conflict. I am also concerned that parts of Syrian territory have become breeding grounds for extremist ideologies and rallying points for terrorists, which is reminiscent of the situation on our eastern border in the 1990’s. This is an issue of concern to many other countries as well, and finding a durable political solution in Syria requires cooperation and joint efforts.

So we are pleased that in 2013 diplomacy prevailed over threats of military intervention in Syria. We must build on this headway and understand that Syria is in dire need of coordinated regional and international efforts. We are ready to contribute to peace and stability in Syria in the course of serious negotiations among regional and extra-regional parties. Here, too, we need to prevent the talks from becoming a zero-sum game. That is no less true of Iran’s peaceful nuclear-energy program, which has been subject to enormous hype in recent decades. Since the early 1990’s, one prediction after another regarding how close Iran was to acquiring a nuclear bomb has proved baseless. Throughout this period, alarmists tried to paint Iran as a threat to the Middle East and the world.

We all know who the chief agitator is, and what purposes are to be served by hyping this issue. We know also that this claim fluctuates in proportion to the amount of international pressure to stop settlement construction and end the occupation of Palestinian lands. These false alarms continue, despite US national intelligence estimates according to which Iran has not decided to build a nuclear weapon. In fact, we are committed not to work toward developing and producing a nuclear bomb. As enunciated in the fatwa issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, we strongly believe that the development, production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are contrary to Islamic norms. We never even contemplated the option of acquiring nuclear weapons, because we believe that such weapons could undermine our national-security interests; as a result, they have no place in Iran’s security doctrine. Even the perception that Iran may develop nuclear weapons is detrimental to our security and overall national interest.

During my presidential campaign, I committed myself to doing everything in my power to fast-track a resolution to the standoff over our nuclear-energy program. To fulfill this commitment and benefit from the window of opportunity that the recent election opened, my government is prepared to leave no stone unturned in seeking a mutually acceptable permanent solution. Following up on November’s interim agreement, we are ready to continue to work with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) and others with a view to ensuring our nuclear program’s full transparency. The peaceful nuclear capability that we have achieved will be used within an internationally recognized framework of safeguards, and it will be accessible to multilateral monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency, as has been the case in the past several years. In this way, the international community can ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of our nuclear program.

We will never forgot our right to benefit from nuclear energy; but we are ready to work toward removing any ambiguity and answer any reasonable question about our program. The continuation of pressure, arm-twisting, intimidation, and measures aimed at cutting off Iranians’ access to a whole range of necessities – from technology to medicines and foodstuffs – can only poison the atmosphere and undermine the conditions needed to make progress. As we showed in 2013, Iran is fully prepared to engage seriously with the international community and to negotiate with our interlocutors in good faith. We hope that our counterparts, too, are ready to take advantage of this window of opportunity'.

view the report exchanging views: Iran wants to resume dialogue with Europe

'The Islamic Republic of Iran wants to resume dialogue with Europe: Exchanging views on international relations'

On August 4, a new
President was inaugurated. Following statements, it seems that there is searching to improve relations with the West. "The government of wisdom and hope, as promised, will pursue national goals with a moderate policy designed to save the country's economy and revive ethical considerations and constructive interaction with the world" and "I will prepare a "civil rights charter", restore the economy and improve rocky relations with the West."

It is likely that there is already a small step put by the Iranian embassy in the Netherlands. On the initiative of the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the I.R. of Iran there was an informal meeting 18 July 2013, together with the director of Feeling EUROPE Foundation and 2 representatives of Indonesia-Nederland Society, who accompanied, to exchange views. As said Mr. H. Rohani is sworn in as new President and because of this change of new horizons started to begin negotations and discussions. The I.R. of Iran wants itself going to bring more attention with also other aspects than just nuclear and asks for understanding, trust and respect.

The Deputy and present persons addressed openly and frankly with each other current and future developments within the country, in relations between the country and her neighbours and her relations to the world, Europe's position and role of mediator, events in MENA-countries, status of Balkan-countries, the state of the world, and ratio of the US. The concept is to improve Iran's conditions in 20 years.

The report that is made, 'The Islamic Republic of Iran wants to resume dialogue with Europe: Exchanging views on international relations', is a record of what has been talked, together with a brief consideration of promotion of international cooperation in the fifties at the time of the then UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. In the introduction is mentioned that 'Western sanctions (*) have caused a sharp currency depreciation, stagnant economy and rising unemployment in Iran.
In his campaign for Presidency promised Rouhani a moderate course, far from all extremism. He has announced to be for friendly and close relations with the surrounding neighbor countries, based on mutual respect and mutual interests. For a solution of the Atomic issue he calls for Iran's continued cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. According to Rouhani, the confused politics that Iran carried out so far, is the result of lack of information and lack of domestic political cooperation. Rouhani's call for moderation and political cooperation has succeeded in Iran. With more than 50% of the votes he now is elected Iran's new president.'

The Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the I.R. of Iran announced: "The image of Iran in the West is not in line with reality The existing walls of mistrust in Western countries make real communication very difficult. The West’s suspicion of Iran preparing for nuclear weapons - how can we convince Europe and the United States that our nuclear programs are for peaceful means only, for energy plants and medical research? How can we break through the existing prejudices? In Islam constructing nuclear weaponry is ‘haram’, forbidden. We signed and ratified the Non Proliferation Treaty. We cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We also offered to cooperate with other countries."

Both Feeling EUROPE Foundation and the 2 accompanying persons asked the core question 'when will the leaders reach out to I.R. of Iran? "There have been laborious situations in history in Europe and for Indonesia where there was distrust and disrespectful attitude, but leaders broke that vicious circle and paved the way to cooperation and common prosperity."

At the end, it was agreed to consider further steps that can possibly be taken and was presented the paper
'Between idealism and realism.'

(*) A week earlier, 12 July, The Hague Center for Law and Arbitration presented a symposium on Unilateral Sanctions under International Law. The Symposium focused on one of the hottest topics affecting international commerce today, the unilateral imposition of sanctions.  While views on the legality and legitimacy of these sanctions cover the entire spectrum of opinion, from staunch support to vociferous condemnation, one aspect which is universally recognized is the humanitarian impact, particularly of economic sanctions.

     
On 15 November, at the Washington Ideas Form 2013, susan Rice discussed opposition to Iran talks: "it's premature to judge". The Atlantic reports: On Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning to the international community. A bad deal on Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli prime minister cautioned in an address to the Israeli parliament, could lead to war. As U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice sees it, however, the Israeli leader is getting ahead of himself. "I think it's important that everybody understand what the deal is that needs to be reached and then they can make a judgment on its contours," Rice said this afternoon, during an interview with Walter Isaacson at the Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, D.C.

"You think [Netanyahu] doesn't understand the deal?" Isaacson asked. "Well it's not done, so by definition it's premature to judge it because the outlines have yet to be finalized." With an interim deal with Iran stalled, Rice attributed the gridlock to Iranian reservations, not French opposition, as some have reported. The French are "fully on board," she said. "Some of the reporting on this has been frankly misleading." "Rice also addressed friction with another longtime ally in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia. Ever since the Saudis took the stunning step in October of rejecting a seat on the U.N. Security Council—in protest over Western decisions to not intervene militarily in Syria and reach out diplomatically to Iran—speculation has mounted about just how frayed relations are between Washington and Riyadh.

Rice also addressed friction with another longtime ally in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia. Ever since the Saudis took the stunning step in October of rejecting a seat on the U.N. Security Council—in protest over Western decisions to not intervene militarily in Syria and reach out diplomatically to Iran—speculation has mounted about just how frayed relations are between Washington and Riyadh. "For example, on Egypt: the Saudi view has been that the interim government, which came to power through some ambiguous events, to put it diplomatically, ought to have the complete and unreserved endorsement of the United States no matter what actions it takes," she explained, referring to the Egyptian military's ouster of Mohammed Morsi, the country's democratically elected president, over the summer. But it's unclear how committed Washington is to supporting that transition. In a visit to Egypt earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the partial suspension of U.S. assistance to Egypt was a "very small issue" and "not a punishment."

And, as The New York Times recently reported, the White House, in reevaluating its Middle East strategy, appears to have prioritized striking a nuclear deal with Iran, brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace, and resolving the Syrian civil war over facilitating a political transition in Egypt.

At the same Forum, John McCain argued: "As the Obama administration scrambles to hammer out an interim nuclear deal with Iran, John McCain had harsh words for his "friend" and former Senate colleague John Kerry. This guy has been a human wrecking ball," the Arizona senator said on Thursday in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg at the Forum in Washington, D.C. "I'm very disappointed.

"McCain's blunt characterization of the secretary of state was just one stroke in the bleak picture he painted of America's receding influence in the world and specifically the Middle East. "Our whole policy in the Middle East—and it reverberates around the world, by the way—is in such disarray that I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime," McCain said. "Fly into Riyadh and talk to the king of Saudi Arabia. Fly into Egypt and praise their steps toward democracy." The Obama administration, McCain argued, is practicing diplomacy by "fire drill."

"If America doesn't lead, then bad guys will lead," he added. "And that's just an historical fact and that's the way the world is today." The Obama administration's approach to striking a nuclear deal with Iran, McCain noted, was fundamentally flawed. "Why should Iran have the right to enrich [uranium] when they have a clear record of seeking to and taking action to acquire nuclear weapons?" he asked. "Canada doesn't exercise a right to enrich uranium. Mexico doesn't." March 9, 2015, 47 Republican senators send an open letter to Iran in which they say that without Congressional approval, any deal would be nothing more than an agreement between Mr Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei on which Zarif responded .

During his inauguration speech, Rohani called the West to withdraw sanctions against Iran and treat the country with respect. In addition, the new head of state promised its people a government of wisdom and hope, which represents all Iranians. One of his goals is better relations with the United States, after a break in the links of up to 34 years. The White House said Sunday is prepared to deal with the new government on the nuclear program of Iran, if Tehran gives more openness in dialogue.

His speech was about reconciliation and rapprochement, both with his own people and with other countries. Rohani pledged themselves to work for better rights for women, less government intervention and a stronger economy. Whether he gets this done, is still questionable. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has the final say in politics.


susan Rice discussed opposition to Iran talks

Iran, 4 August 2013 inauguration

     
On August 6, the EU announced to want early resumption atom consultation with Iran. The international community suspects Iran of working in secret on a nuclear weapon. Iran denies, but does not allow foreign researchers to inspect the nuclear program. The European Union has urged the new Iranian President to schedule fast 'meaningful talks' about controversial nuclear program. According the EU, Iran must remove soon concerns about its nuclear program. Foreign Chief of the EU Ashton congratulated Mr. Rohani with his appointment as president, but urged at the same time to seek a quick fix.

According to Ashton, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are ready to resume the atom consutation as soon as possible. The past year there were four consultations, but this has so far led to nothing. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov announced that ' this can be no longer postponed”. Russia wants to continue consultations on the controversial nuclear program in September. UN nuclear agency may met (in Vienna?) in August. Diplomats will use IAEA’s quarterly report on Irans nuclear program in late August and ahead of a week long session of the UN agency’s 35 nations governing board in September.

Rohani said Tuesday during his first press conference as president that he is “determined to resolve the dispute over the nuclear program and that he is ready to perform' serious and substantive negotiations with the West”. He stressed that nothing is solved with threats.

     
On 24 September, during the sixty-eight session of the UNGA, Mr. Rohani made the statement on wisdom, hope and on more other important matters and perspectives (verbatim), and video. 27 September, Obama had a historic phone call with Rouhani and hinted at end to sanctions. The Guardian wrote: "The President says discussion with Iranian counterpart showed 'basis for resolution' of dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme. Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani held the first direct talks between American and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exchanging pleasantries in a 15-minute telephone call on Friday that raised the prospect of relief for Tehran from crippling economic sanctions.

Speaking at the White House shortly after the historic call, Obama said his discussion with Rouhani had shown the "basis for resolution" of the dispute over Iran nuclear programme. The conversation, in which Obama communicated his "deep respect for the Iranian people", capped a week of diplomatic breakthroughs. Rouhani ended a five-day visit to New York for the UN general assembly with a striking offer to work rapidly to defuse tensions with America, and hailed the US as "a great nation" – a dramatic shift in tone for an Iranian leader.

Both leaders expressed confidence their countries could reach a peaceful settlement to their standoff over Iranian nuclear programme. Obama, in his White House statement, said: "While there will be significant obstacles and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution." Obama cautioned against over-optimism, however. "We're mindful of all the challenges ahead," he told reporters. "The test will be meaningful, transparent and verifiable actions which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place."

Minutes earlier, President Rouhani's English-language Twitter account broke news of the phone call in a series of tweets that hinted at a remarkably swift rapprochement between the two countries since the moderate cleric was elected in June. The tweets were deleted several hours later and replaced with more sombre versions.

One tweet said Rouhani had concluded the phone call by telling Obama to "have a nice day!" and Obama had thanked him and said goodbye in Persian – "Khodahafez", which means "God go with you". That tweet was later deleted and replaced. The tweets, which were published by Rouhani's aides, suggested the tone of the conversation was friendly, even punctuated by banter. Obama was quoted as saying: "I wish you a safe and pleasant journey and apologize if you're experiencing the [horrendous] traffic in NYC."

Earlier, at a press conference in New York, Rouhani made the most conciliatory remarks heard from Tehran in a decade and also offered to prepare a concrete plan for resolving the nuclear stalemate to a new round of negotiations in Geneva on 15 October. He said Tehran might go even further, hinting at a possible confidence-building measure to be announced at the talks. But it was Rouhani's tone that was most remarkable, at the end of a week in which he sought to present Iran as a reborn country, following his June election. "The environment that has been created is quite different from the past, and those who have brought the change was the people of Iran," he said. "The first step has been taken here which is a beginning for better relations with other countries and in particular, between the two great nations of Iran and US. "So the understanding between our peoples will grow and our governments will first stop the escalation of tensions, and then defuse those tensions."

The conciliatory language marked a radical change from the presidency of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a break from tradition dating to the 1979 revolution of referring to the US as the "Great Satan". It mirrored a change on the streets of Tehran, where the ritual chanting of "Death to America" has almost died out at public gatherings since the elections. "Step by step, we will build confidence between our presidents and our countries," Rouhani said " With sufficient will on both sides – and I assure you that on Iran's side the will is 100% – the nuclear file will be resolved in a short period of time."

Rouhani rejected suggestions that his flexibility at the negotiating table was constrained by hardline forces back in Iran. "My government has full authority in these negotiations with support from all three arms of government as well as the people of Iran. I have complete backing." Nevertheless, in an indication of the precarious position in which Rouhani finds himself, the state news agency in Iran earlier this week disputed the translation of an interview he conducted with CNN. In the interview, Rouhani acknowledged that the Holocaust took place. CNN pointed out that the translator for the interview was provided by the Iranian government.

There were also suggestions that Obama and Rouhani might meet informally on the sidelines of the UN general assembly this week, but the prospect of a picture of the two leaders shaking hands appears to have been too much even for the new, moderate regime. A telephone call, however, was more palatable. According to the White House, the idea to hold the call came at short notice from the Rouhani team. Having turned out the chance of a face-to-face meeting at the UN because it would be "too complicated", Rouhani said he wanted to talk to Obama before he left for Iran. The call took place at 2.30pm ET, it lasted about 15 minutes and was conducted through an interpreter. A senior administration official confirmed that Rouhani's Twitter feed had accurately reflected the tone of the conversation, and noted: "We'll be continuing to watch that Twitter account."

"It was quite cordial in tone," the official said. "Both leaders expressed their determination to solve this [nuclear] issue expeditiously. Both leaders expressed that sense of urgency." The official said that the Israeli government and congressional leaders, both sources of resistance to a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, had been alerted before the call began. The official recalled that in his first inaugural address in January 2009, Obama declared, in a phrase directly aimed at Tehran: "We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." The official added: "What we are have seen here is a unclenching – hopefully – of that fist."

In his White House press conference, Obama acknowledged the historic nature of the call. "The very fact that this was the first communication between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history," he said. Describing the sequence of events that led to the talks, Obama added: "Iran's supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons. I made clear that we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy."


May 3, 2012 Vali R. Nasr lectured in 'Iran and the Sunni-Shia Divide in the Middle East after the Arab Spring'. Nasr examined whether Iran uses the Shiite communities in Arab countries, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, to exert influence, i.e. to export the Iranian brand of political Islam and the ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, such as the doctrine of Velayat-e faqih.

The Economist wrote May 12, 2012: It seemed historic. Muslim scholars, 170 in number and representing nine schools of legal thought (including four main Sunni ones and two Shia), gathered in Amman and declared that, whatever their differences, they accepted the others’ authority over their respective flocks. Implicitly, at least, they were renouncing the idea that their counterparts were heretics. Some called that meeting in Jordan in 2005 the biggest convergence since 969, when a Shia dynasty took over Egypt. Many of the globe-trotting greybeards who met there, and at a similar gathering in Qatar in 2007, remain actively and optimistically engaged. But seen from the outside, feuds between Sunnis, who make up roughly 80% of the world’s Muslims, and the Shia minority (most of the rest), remain savage and are, in some ways, worsening.

In conservative Sunni monarchies (especially those with restless Shia populations) dislike and suspicion of Iran, the Shia bastion, is running higher than ever. Theology intertwines with geopolitics—and an incipient strategic-arms race. Far beyond the Gulf or Middle East, from western Europe to North America, Sunni agitation (often Saudi-sponsored) is intensifying against the supposed heresies contained in Shia teaching.


Belgian police are investigating the firebombing of Belgium’s biggest Shia mosque in March, which killed the imam. The suspect they arrested claims to be a Salafist (hardline Sunni) protesting against Shia backing for the Syrian regime. Grieving worshippers chanted Shia slogans at the scene, eerily echoing far bloodier incidents in places such as Pakistan (recent examples include a murderous grenade assault on a Sunni demonstration in April and an attack on a bus in February that killed 18 Shia passengers).

European Shia-Sunni acrimony is part of a many-sided contest over the future of the continent’s tens of millions of Muslims, says Jonathan Laurence, a scholar at Boston College. The religious authorities in migrant-sending countries like Turkey and Morocco struggle to keep their people loyal to their own varieties of Sunni practice: they see Shia Islam and hardline Sunni groups like the Salafists as equally dangerous and insidious temptations for their sons and daughters in Europe

Strife even reaches places like South-East Asia where few Shias live. Malaysia has presented itself to the world as a tolerant Muslim-majority state. But it bans the preaching of Shia Islam, with particular ferocity since December 2010, when dozens of Shias were arrested. They say they were merely practising their faith (which is legally allowed), not preaching it. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based preacher often described as the de facto spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, has recently kept up a barrage of verbal attacks on the Shias. He is president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, a loose Brotherhood-inspired body designed to pronounce on issues of common concern to Muslims. Founded in the friendlier climate of 2004, its top ranks also include Shia clergy.


ONE GOD, MANY ARGUMENTS

But Mr Qaradawi now attacks Shias for compromising the oneness of God (about the worst thing a Muslim can do) by ascribing semi-divine status to the people they regard as Muhammad’s legitimate successors. Another accusation is that Shias poach souls in Sunni lands. Time was when Mr Qaradawi praised the feats of Hizbullah, the Iranian-backed Shia militia in Lebanon, as fighters against Israel. But in recent punditry he has stressed the gap between Sunni and Shia beliefs and passionately called for regime change in Syria, where, among other things, a Sunni majority is rebelling against a ruling elite whose Alawite belief (see table) is a Shia offshoot. Senior Shia clergy have deplored his hardening line. Mr Qaradawi, whose utterances command attention from Marseilles to the north Caucasus, also backs Bahrain’s Sunni rulers in their anti-Shia stance.

Paradoxically enough, one reason for the worsening in intra-Muslim relations is the declining role of the West. At the time of the Amman gathering in 2005, Iraq was in the grip both of horrific Sunni-Shia violence and of American occupation. It was possible to convince ordinary Muslims (however unfairly) that America was to blame for stoking this tension; and that, for dignity’s sake, followers of Islam should stand together against the outsiders’ game of divide-and-rule.

believers, beliefs and branches
Now the American occupation of Iraq is over, and hatred between Sunnis and Shias there has a ghastly momentum of its own: the Shia prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has accused a Sunni vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, of complicity in terrorism and forced him to flee. On April 30th he was charged with multiple murders. But perhaps the biggest change is that Sunnis think they are now winning the global contest. Seven years ago it seemed that Shia Islam, whether in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, was on the march. Hot-headed Sunnis who yearned to see a government or movement that would confront Israel in the name of Islam had to find role-models across the sectarian divide, in Iran, or in the mullahs’ Lebanese protégés in Hizbullah.
These days zealous Sunnis need no longer look to swashbuckling Shias for inspiration. The real action is unfolding in their own homelands, at least in north Africa or the Levant. Nor need they look abroad for political ideology: the Arab spring has established the Sunni sort of political Islam as a powerful, domestically based force that has emerged from the underground or from exile. Rachid Ghannouchi, for example, Tunisia’s best-known Islamist, has returned from London to become probably the most powerful figure in the land. Vali Nasr, a professor at the Fletcher School of Tufts University in America and a former adviser to the Obama administration, says that—rightly or wrongly—Sunnis believe that Western sanctions are weakening Iran, and that the combined efforts of Sunnis and the West will also topple Iran’s only Arab ally, Syria. From a Sunni perspective, these impending victories outweigh the travails of their co-religionists in majority-Shia Iraq.

Cushing Academy submitted February 25, 2011 'The Historical Context of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East: A select brief history of Middle Eastern Politics'. Except a big picture on history, also significant attention is given to Iran from 1941.

The paper can be read
here

Intra-Muslim relations are not universally bleak. An Iraqi adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet”, featuring star-crossed love across the Muslim sectarian divide (rather than the clan loyalties of Verona), has won acclaim there, and was performed at the World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. Egypt’s handful of Shias, a nervous bunch, have declared support for a Muslim Brotherhood (in other words, Sunni) presidential candidate. In campaigns for freedom and justice in the Middle East, Sunni-Shia distinctions can melt away. “We are all part of the same struggle,” says Maryam al-Khawaja, an activist from Bahrain’s aggrieved Shia majority. She co-starred this week with Sunnis like Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi woman detained for defying that country’s ban on women driving, at the Oslo Freedom Forum, a lively get-together for foes of state oppression.

Historic compromises between ancient rivals are most likely either when both sides acknowledge a stalemate, or else when some outsider forces them together. State repression may do that sometimes—but it is a sad and slender hope for those who yearn for intra-Muslim accord.


Seminar The Green Revolution, Iran after the breaking news
On 2 December 2009 Clingendael and NGIZ organised a seminar about the present state of affairs in Iran. Developments in Iran during the elections, consequences, present situation and the nuclear file (CEPS 2012 paper 'Sanction's regime formatted') were items. After this lecture, the items were discussed and there was time for questions.

The Green Revolution, which took place after the elections in which Ahmadinejad was re-elect, has dominated the news for weeks. For the first time since years the Iranian population went on the streets in mass, against warnings to protest against the election fraud and the result of the poll. Internet played a crucial role: pictures and video's were sent around the world, so that everybody was witness of the unrest and rough approach by the ruling government, managed by Ahmadinejad and religious leader Khamenei.
Meanwhile Iran is international in front, due to her
nuclear program (2006 speech from I.R. Iran). The proposal to enrich uranium abroad seems to have a chance to succeed. But it is striking that the leader of the opposition Moussavi, who played a big role during the election and the Green Revolution, is against this proposal.

How is the situation in Iran after the 'breaking news?' Has the revolution died secretly of is the still something under the surface? And in what extent should the opposition have made a change in foreign policy of Iran? Speakers were from Radio Zamaneh, Iran Future Foundation, Clingendael and University of Amsterdam.


For the Persians with there pride, democratic developments have shattered for the time being. Reforms have been blocked ongoing by the ruler. First there was a show democracy, where the power was in the hands of Velayat-e Faqih (guardianship of the Islamic Jurists) and supreme leader, appointed by the Assembly of Experts. After this period, power shifted little by little to the Revolutionary Gard (militairy cabinet) which got the control over economy, media and communication. Nowadays human rights, freedom of press and economy (prices, unemployment, foreign exchange amount and subsidies are under pressure. With an atomic bomb a power shifting will occur. The old balance will disappear, but after this phenomenon other countries in the region will strive to possess such a bomb either by which again a new balance of power will rise.

Leaders of the opposition will not stop, but, if not a mistake, there is talk of fragmentation. Furthermore there are protest by minorities, which can grow to a regional level. Is there a solution? Attention for the situation of human rights on one hand and on the other complete isolation and sanctions was mentioned. It was also said that Iran as well as the West are looking for confrontation. An important question that rised was to whom one can speak to negotiate. That's in fact the only step to follow. The EU as well as America did countless attempts and so far without results. Nevertheless, negotiate is fundamental. No terms in front. The question should be: 'why not enrich under international inspection?' China and Russia will hardly stand up to defend the convictions of western countries. Economic interests are the main reason for that. However, there is a common basis for the political situation in Iran.

How do we engage Iran? Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour discusses with Isham Christopher the growing nuclear situation in Iran and the aftermath of the disputed June elections there
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IRAN-UNITED STATES CLAIMS TRIBUNAL 

The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal was established on 19 January 1981 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America to resolve certain claims by nationals of one State Party against the other State Party and certain claims between the State Parties. To date, the Tribunal has finalized over 3,900 cases. Currently on the Tribunal’s docket are several large and complex claims between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America.

 

The Office of International Claims and Investment Disputes is responsible for representing the United States before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.

In 1981, the United States and Iran entered into the Algiers Accords, which brought an end to the Embassy hostage crisis and created the Tribunal to resolve existing disputes between the two countries and their nationals. The Tribunal sits in The Hague, The Netherlands and is comprised of nine arbitrators: three appointed by Iran, three by the United States, and three by the party-appointed members acting jointly or, in absence of agreement by an appointing authority.