The story today was about the tremendous challenge facing negotiators Catherine Ashton for the E.U. and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. While they will address specifics about Iran’s nuclear program, it should be about much more than that. Embodied in this discussion are things that Iran and Western nations both need and want:
- Sustainable economies
- Peaceful coexistence
Can we agree on that?
Reasons why Iran has taken the path toward nuclear development include:
- Nuclear power
- Nuclear medicine
- Nuclear weapons
Western nations went down that road before as did a number of others. What did they learn?
- Nuclear power is dangerous in operation and with waste products that are impossible to store safely and indefinitely.
- Nuclear medical applications are most valuable, although handling nuclear products demands advanced methods and security for safety to humanity.
- Nuclear weapons are too dangerous, and disarmament is the best course, however difficult that may be. Rogue nations can use nuclear weapons for blackmail as we have seen. The world is not better off with any more nations having nuclear weapons. In fact, there must be a reversal.
How can nuclear technology be managed safely? It must be achieved through universal cooperation and management to international standards. That is why international inspectors and monitors are in Iran and should be in every nation that has a nuclear program for power, medicine, and weapons. When the standards are applied universally, there is mutual respect.
What nuclear nations have learned is that nuclear power is too dangerous to perpetuate indefinitely. Renewable energy sources such as solar and others are essential for sustainable economies. Fossil fuels that have brought wealth and intrusion into the Middle East are at the end of their life cycle.
Iran knows this very well and that is one reason why they pursue nuclear power.
However, that course will not be acceptable to global humanity. A better strategy would be for the US and Iranian scientists and technologists to develop renewable energy technology in collaboration. That would demonstrate mutual respect and create a rallying point around sustainable economics.
The youth in both Iran and the US would discover a common and shared purpose.
The trouble spot in negotiations is between governments. The theocracy in Iran does not appear to embrace the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is a cultural lag that is based upon religious beliefs on one hand. There are citizens in the US who are also cultural laggards, though not to the extent as they are in Iran.
In both nations, the emerging younger generations appear to be moving more toward having the capacity for mutual respect, and embracing values that will ensure survival of humanity if and only if governments give to them the opportunity.
The first step toward resolving big problems is to embrace human rights. After that, the technology issues become economic opportunities that will generate a good life for many more global citizens.