When faced with more Iranian stonewalling regarding inspecting its Parchin military facility suspected of nuclear-related military research, nothing holds truer than the proverb: “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it must be a duck.” Now, the UK Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould is speaking out that the five permanent members of the Security Council are not naïve about Iran’s intention. Specifically, Gould says the Islamic Republic will be judged by its merits.
Haaretz’s Barak Ravid quoted Gould stating:
“Iran will not get something for nothing. We will not be lifting sanctions simply because the atmosphere of the talks is constructive. Iran needs to come to the table with concrete proposals for how it can rebuild the trust of the international community. We will judge Iran by its actions and take our decisions accordingly. People who are worried that we are going to get carried away with a kind of negotiating warmth and that suddenly we will dismantle the sanctions regime don’t need to worry.”
Those observing on the sidelines have a couple of concerns with the international community’s “pressure” on Iran. To put it bluntly, they are China and Russia. To date, Syrians have been left to fend for themselves amid Syrian President al-Bashar Assad’s killing regime. The international community knows that Syria is a proxy of Iran yet seems to consider “monitoring” the bloodbath akin to stopping it. And Russia and China are two of the permanent members on the Security Council yet neither have condemned Assad’s murderous actions or demanded his ouster.
More recently, there’s the case of Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese activist who took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and subsequently left prompting reports that the State Department had dropped the ball. While new reports indicate the Chinese government is “allowing” Guangcheng to apply for a Visa to study in the United States (one can imagine how long that process might take), other reports state the activist who either sheltered him or drove him to the US Embassy have disappeared into the bowels of detention.
Either way, without appearing strong to countries that have racked up countless human rights abuses like Iran, China and Syria, having much leverage with Iran on its nuclear ambitions seem futile. Then there’s the obvious concern that talking is not equivalent to acting. Iranian leaders, like their Palestinian counterparts, are usually willing to talk but ultimately use this platform for positive international PR spin followed by excruciating inaction. We’ve seen this tactic used time and time again when observing numerous land concessions Israel anted up for peace followed by its disengagement from Gaza all while Palestinian leaders offered hollow rhetoric, random terrorism, rapid missile strikes and have yet to cough up an iota for peace.
So applying those failed Palestinian peace lessons to Iran, is rebuilding trust of the international community (and ultimately lifting sanctions) enough of a consolation prize for the Islamic regime to stop its nuclear ambition? Current activities suggest this is far from the case. When satellite images imply that Iranians are likely “sanitizing” the Parchin facility of incriminating evidence before a visit, Iranian leaders are still unwilling to show their poker hand.
Photo credit: Reuters
About the author
Jennifer Hanin must love Israel. She spends her days advocating for the Jewish State she has never stepped foot in. Besides her passion for Israel and its people, she is an award-winning writer, influential blogger, and critically acclaimed author of What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant: the Complete Guide to All the Technologies for Couples Facing Fertility Problems (Da Capo, 2005). Newsweek (July 4, 2005) recommended Jennifer’s book as one to buy when undergoing fertility treatments. Jennifer's most recent highly acclaimed book is Becoming Jewish: The Challenges, Rewards and Paths to Conversion (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2011). JTA ranked Jennifer @jennhanin as #38 on their 100 Most Influential Jewish Twitter Users for 2010, and #10 in the category of Politics and Policy. She also won Shorty Awards in the categories of Religion and Judaism in 2009. She has appeared on television and radio to discuss her book and blog, and her blog has generated interest from every continent except Antarctica. Editors have translated her work into Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish, French and Arabic.