• 9 May 2008
  • Posted By Trita Parsi
  • Diplomacy, Panel Discussion, US-Iran War

Can P5+1 Offer Break the Nuclear Stalemate?

There is little doubt that Tehran will reject the secret P5+1 nuclear offer since it crosses Iran’s red line — suspension of enrichment. The proposal is scheduled Though reinvigorating diplomacy is much needed, the question is why the Security Council powers would make an offer that few believe will break the stalemate at this point – that is, at a time when tensions Iran and the US over Iraq is quickly escalating?

In the piece below, published by Inter Press Services today, I discuss why Tehran is so inflexible on the issue of suspension based on its previous negotiating experience with the EU and why Washington’s insistence on this precondition is leading to a situation in which “the perfect is becoming the enemy of the good.”

Tehran sees two key problems with the suspension precondition. First, Iran has taken away from earlier negotiations with the EU that suspension becomes a trap unless the West at the outset commits to solutions that recognise Iran’s right to enrichment, i.e. that won’t cause the suspension to become permanent.

Iran entered talks with Europe in 2003 under the impression that the parties would identify “objective criteria” that would enable Tehran to exercise its rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while providing the international community with guarantees that the Iranian nuclear programme would remain strictly civilian. During the course of the talks, however, Europe shifted its position. The only acceptable criteria would be for Iran not to engage in uranium enrichment in the first place, the EU began to argue.

Consequently, Tehran felt trapped since the objective had shifted from seeking a peaceful Iranian enrichment programme to seeking the elimination of Iran’s enrichment capabilities.”

The full piece can be found here: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42307


Posted By Trita Parsi

    4 Responses to “Can P5+1 Offer Break the Nuclear Stalemate?”

  1. tparsi says:

    btw – sign up for my personal email list on tritaparsi.com

  2. Jamchid Tavangar says:

    Dear Dr. Parsi,
    I like to thank NIAC staff for their tireless efforts to represent the views of the majority of moderate Iranian Americans in Washington political circles; and hopefully will avert a disasterous war with Iran.

  3. tparsi says:

    Dear Jamchid – thank you so much! All of us at NIAC know that our success is due to people like yourself and the thousands of other iranian americans that support NIAC

  4. H Ataune says:

    Dr Parsi,

    Your article presents a thoughtful and interesting perspective on the recent diplomatic events that led to this latest 5+1 package. It seems that you are suggesting that the hidden agenda behind the new package is to make either Iran accept it and loose face or refuse it and face war.

    Even though the political and social events of the last few years in Europe; the EU rapprochement, after Bush second term, toward US position on Iran (and I believe not the other way around); and, recently, a strong rumor of Bank Melli being targeted for asset freeze in Europe, can re-inforce this perception and therefore your conclusions. There might be, if you allow me, another twist to this “package diplomacy”. And although this twist doesn’t necessarily contradict your conclusions but somehow milden them into less disastrous outcome.

    In short,

    Assuming that the bulk of the military-intelligence community in the US doesn’t really desire confronting Iran and weakening it; and the package being the least common denominator of the interests of the big powers (EU+ UK/US + RUS + CHI); and their interests being in some aspects radically divergent in the current world affairs; And since all the partners agree, at the least, that Iran doesn’t need enrichement; We might say that the only way for the current administration, strong advocate of “offensive policy in the Middle-East”, to have a “win/win” situation out of this unfavorable dilpomatic context, is to “convince” the others that Iran has more turf in its disposition than they do, and therefore they might need more sanction tools in their disposition to squeeze Iran into accepting their offer. The hidden agenda behind this ploy of almost an identical offer being re-packaged as new will then be: either loose face or face more sanctions. The rest will be just the show to frighten.

    Will this be a successfull diplomatic strategy for the 5+1, thats another story.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



Share this with your friends: