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AUSTRALIA SHOULD STAY OUT OF WAR WITH IRAN

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 20/21 JULY 2019
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PLEASE LETS NOT HAVE ANOTHER GULF WAR
AUSTRALIA SHOULD STAY OUT OF WAR WITH IRAN


Australia should stay entirely out of any war between Iran and the US (and/or the UK), and instead should devote its strongest diplomatic efforts to ensuring that such a war does not ever take place.


Ideally, Iran and the US should reinstate the JCPOA, the most detailed and intrusive nuclear nonproliferation agreement ever made between states. As things stand, it remains the US and not Iran that is actually in violation of the JCPOA's terms, though Iran is steadily inching toward levels of uranium enrichment not permitted under the terms of the JCPOA. It is however the US that has pulled out of the JCPOA and that refuses to honor an agreement entered into by President Obama.


Iran's offer to reinstate the JCPOA with the addition of the Additional Protocol of INFCIRC-540 should be taken seriously and not dismissed.


The Grace 1 should be released along with the two ships currently held by the Iranians. Perhaps both ships should be held by a third neutral power until a satisfactory interim agreement is reached.


A stand-down of military forces in the Gulf should be supervised via the UN by governments that have a minimum of obligations to either the US, the UK, or Iran.


A phased elimination of sanctions should commence.


Iran is neither a threat to the US nor to Australia. Claims that it is a threat to the Gulf region and even to Israel (in spite of the inflammatory rhetoric) do not stack up.


Nor do claims that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Had Iran wanted to do so they would have acquired nuclear weapons decades ago.


However, if there is a faction in Iran that does want nuclear weapons, current US and UK policies are precisely what would do most to put such a faction in the driving seat. Claims that Iran wants nuclear weapons are false, indeed nonsense right now. But they are in danger of becoming self – fulfilling.


Should there be a war in the Gulf, and should Iran decide to abandon its oft repeated fatwas declaring nuclear weapons 'un-islamic' and decide instead to pursue them, there will be on one to blame but ourselves. The policies we are pursuing right now are calculated to persuade Iran to go nuclear.


So calculated are they, and so obvious is this fundamental fact, that one is forced to wonder if US policy toward Iran is perhaps driven by a perverse desire to achieve the very opposite of what it says it wishes to achieve. At any rate that is what will surely happen. Current policies are absolutely calculated to achieve the opposite of what we say we wish to achieve. Nothing could be clearer. Then why do we pursue these policies?


Peace with Iran is on the other hand easy – if, indeed, peace is truly what is sought. An outbreak of commonsense and dialogue coupled with a willingness to see things from an Iranian perspective and not merely ones own are all that is required, just as between two individual human beings. Insistence that Iran must always be wrong, or has no understandable reason to do what it does, will do exactly what it does in ordinary human relationships – blow the relationship apart.


War in the gulf or an Iranian bomb will be no more than the result of our own stupidity and perversity. We said we didn't want it to happen yet our own actions will have created that outcome surely and entirely predictably.


We have seen the 'enemy' and s/he is ourselves.


John Hallam

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