Western Arrogance Blocks P5+1 Progress with Iran by Finian Cunningham + P5+1 & Iran agree landmark nuclear deal at Geneva talks

by Finian Cunningham
Writer, Dandelion Salad
East Africa
Crossposted from PressTV
November 23, 2013

Potential failure to reach an interim agreement at the P5+1 negotiations in Geneva this week can be attributed to various factors: The lingering damage to confidence caused by the French spoiler lobbed into the previous round earlier this month; the subsequent lack of commitment by the US to pursue the undoubted progress that had been achieved towards closing a deal; and the intrusive lobbying by Israel and its formidable American supporters in Congress creating unhelpful background tensions.

But another major factor is this: Western arrogance. The United States, Britain and France are still behaving as hegemonic powers whose arrogance blinds them to their own outrageous double standards and hypocrisy, and prevents them from treating Iran with mutual respect.

Without this basic ingredient of mutual respect, any negotiations will continue to be frustrated.

French arrogance was perhaps most salient at this particular time. Three days before the opening of the third round of P5+1 talks in Geneva, French President Francois Hollande travelled to Israel in a display of pathetic kowtowing.

On the eve of sensitive talks in Geneva, Hollande’s theatrical rhetoric about “taking a tough stance in support of Israel against a nuclear-armed Iran” was a reckless confidence-sinking salvo.

But more than this, the French leader betrayed the kind of counterproductive arrogance that characterizes the Western attitude generally towards Iran. This hegemonic mentality is at the root of ongoing political deadlock and the continued imposition of unethical economic sanctions on the Iranian population.

Why should France be allowed to have some 60 nuclear power stations operating on its territory supplying 80 per cent of that country’s total energy needs? Why should France be allowed full control of all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment to unrestricted concentrations? Why should France possess up to 500 nuclear weapons? Yet when Iran asserts its legally entitled right to develop peaceful atomic technology, France and the other Western powers impede with unreasonable objections.

Such thinking – displayed by the French, but pervading the other Western powers too – is the surely the apex of arrogant doublethink. And it is this mindset that must be addressed if the P5+1 talks are to progress.

This astounding Western arrogance was again revealed in the preposterous claim by the French leader before the Israeli parliament that his country stands against proliferation of nuclear weapons. How can a Western leader spout such arrant nonsense without being ridiculed and held to account? It is a well-known historical fact that it was France that played a crucial role in illegally proliferating nuclear weapons in the Middle East by arming Israel during the 1950s and 60s.

Washington and London also share due blame for creating this dangerous and criminal double standard of nuclear weaponry in the Middle East.

Countless investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency verify Iran’s claims of pursuing legitimate civilian nuclear energy. Iranian assurances have been issued numerous times, most recently this week, by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Nevertheless, the Western powers continue to thwart progress towards a mutual settlement by a) not acknowledging Iran’s fundamental legal right to enrich uranium as bestowed to all signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty; and b) by continuing to cast aspersions on Iran’s avowed nuclear plans.

This attitude of the Western powers is arrogant and insulting to the integrity of Iran and its revered leader; it is hegemonic and presents an unreasonable, unlawful block on resolving the dispute.

The Western hegemons’ opinions and prejudices are simply being allowed to warp what is a legal process enshrining inalienable rights.

Hollande’s words and actions this week are ample proof of that. But here is another illustration of the Western arrogance from a quarter that shows how deep and problematic that mindset runs. In a debate televised earlier this week on Press TV between Iranian Professor Mohammad Marandi and American commentator Lawrence Korb, it was notable just how regressive Western thinking is. The more troubling aspect perhaps is the Mr Korb is considered to be a voice of reason among the Washington establishment, who is in favor of diplomatic rapprochement and a deal at the P5+1 talks.

Korb sought to make an equivalence between the US and Iran, saying that “mistakes have been made on all sides.” He cited in particular the siege of the American embassy in Tehran some 34 years ago as an example of alleged Iranian transgressions.

As Prof Marandi cogently pointed out, there is no comparison between Iran and US “mistakes.” The crimes committed by the US against the people of Iran are incomparable and inordinate, including the installation of the vicious CIA-backed police state of the Shah until 1979, the downing of an Iranian civilian airliner with the loss of hundreds of lives, the US-backed Iraqi war on Iran between 1980-88, including the American-assisted use of chemical weapons against Iranian civilians. Plus the ongoing raft of economic sanctions that target sick children and terminally ill cancer patients.

In all these crimes committed against the Iranian nation, the US has been supported directly by Britain and France.

Americans, including many supposedly progressive voices, are oblivious to the scale of horror that their country has inflicted on Iran (and many other nations besides). This obliviousness is the blind outlook of arrogance that infects the brain of Washington, London and Paris, and a good many of their citizens.

Americans need to listen more and talk less; they need to do some serious soul-searching instead of pontificating all the time.

Until that arrogance is eradicated, negotiations with these powers will always prove to be frustrating and may be even futile.

Finian Cunningham, is a columnist at Press TV and a Writer on Dandelion Salad. He can be reached at cunninghamfinian@gmail.com.


[DS added the video report.]

Trilateral meeting between Iran,Catherine Ashton and John Kerry ended (14:00 GMT)

PressTV Videos on Nov 23, 2013


Updated: Nov. 24, 2013

P5+1 & Iran agree landmark nuclear deal at Geneva talks

RT on Nov 23, 2013

The P5+1 world powers and Iran have struck a historic deal on Tehran’s nuclear program at talks in Geneva. Ministers overcame the last remaining hurdles to reach an interim agreement, despite strong pressure from Israel and lobby groups. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/8lwv5u


Escobar: Spin war started in Geneva, but world needs to follow deal

RT on Nov 24, 2013

World powers and Iran have reached an historic nuclear deal – ending a decade-long deadlock over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The breakthrough came on the fifth day of intense talks – after the Foreign Ministers from all six negotiating countries and Iran narrowed down the remaining obstacles in Geneva. Despite hailing the deal with Iran, US President Obama said the majority of American sanctions against Tehran will stay in place. Asia Times Correspondent Pepe Escobar joins RT to discuss this issue.


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9 thoughts on “Western Arrogance Blocks P5+1 Progress with Iran by Finian Cunningham + P5+1 & Iran agree landmark nuclear deal at Geneva talks

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  6. While I agree that the system of nuclear apartheid is unjust, the answer isn’t to spread nuclear power and weapons capabilities to the rest of the world, but rather to abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s provision requiring the n-weapons states to disarm, and simultaneously work to phase out n-power, which is too dirty, too dangerous and too expensive to be seen as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

    N-power is also too slow and, if we are serious about addressing the climate crisis, we need to invest in efficiency and renewables, which are more cost-effective.

    I would also note that the claim that France’s nukes are “supplying 80 per cent of that country’s total energy needs” is mistaken. France’s nukes supply a little less than 80% of their ELECTRICITY, but this is only a fraction of their overall energy use. France uses lots of petrol for transport and depends on fossil fuels for lots more. Conflating electric usage and overall energy usage is a common mistake, but one that shouldn’t go unmentioned as it creates a false impression of a much greater contribution by and dependence on n-power than is actually the case.

  7. Zachary, Israel is all part of the strategic force that Britain, America and France, need, for policing Suez, and the ensuring oil supplies, from the Middle East, in particular, the Arab Nations having become increasingly polarized as the enemy, Western Allies having now destroyed much of the Middle Eastern countries infrastructure, in the name of hunting down terrorism, this political strategy is a justification for invasion, to control and destroy the Arab Nations, without to much public disapproval, assisted by Western propaganda through mainstream media.
    The Middle eastern countries left out of the equation, are those with puppet governments or stooges for America.
    I suggest the Western Allies having returned to a historical twist and devolved to the species, of the Cymothoa Exigua, this unfortunate circumstance relating to the embedded parasite now firmly having attached to the tongue, or media, that no longer can be dislodged from this appendage, sucking the life blood from its host and using what nutrients available from the victim, is a marriage by force, which can only end with the death of the victim.

  8. The US needs to get out and stay out of the Middle East., and stop one-sidely supporting Israel.

    “People sometimes refer to Israel as an ally. . .Israel is not an ally. One becomes an ally through a treaty of alliance, and allies take special pains to try to co-ordinate their policies as much as possible. I don’t think the Israelis have ever wanted that kind of obligation. They prefer to take their chances on going their own way and expecting Jewish support in this country to force the United States to go along.”
    Dean Rusk, United States Secretary of State under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

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