Another Reason to Support The Iran Agreement

The biggest objection to the Iran Agreement on nuclear weapons is that Iran cannot be trusted to abide by it. I disagree. My training and experience in negotiations and in conflict resolution have shown me that anyone can be trusted to do what they believe benefits them. This is true whether among individuals or on any size group including nations. Look at this agreement with that in mind.

The true measure of the Iran agreement is the extent to which everyone gets what they need or see themselves as needing. (As the Stones sing it, “you can’t always get what you want,but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”). We need for Iran not to get the bomb which is also what the other five on our side plus IAEA need. what Iran needs is an end to the sanctions. The question raised by critics of the agreement ask whether Iran can be trusted to comply with the agreement. Which does Iran need more, a strong economy or a nuclear arsenal?

Here is a thought that came to me which I have not seen in any source. Iran needs for their economy to work more than they need nukes. They seek regional hegemony. No power can have that without a healthy economy. Can anyone think of any great power in human history that did not have a strong economy? Iran cannot afford continued sanctions. If the agreement falls through because of American politics the USA will lose credibility with our five co- negotiators and also the sanctions will collapse because four of the other five need Iranian oil. The fifth, Russia, will have been handed a bigger relationship with Iran which they have sought for a very long time and which they are now actively pursuing.

Furthermore the Islamic rulers of Iran are very much aware that they came to power through the overthrow of the Shah which, before 1979, no one thought could happen. The immense Green movement that opposed Ahmadinejad’s re-election is still functioning and still actively opposing the regime. It is secularist and committed to non-violence and is exactly the kind of movement that has a history of bringing down tyrannies. The regime knows that the weak economy due to the sanctions is a basis for widespread opposition, too big for them to suppress. The regime needs to fix the economy more than it needs nukes.

The agreement gives everyone what they need, if not everything they want. That is how negotiations work.

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