Friday, April 3, 2015


The 5+1/Iran negotiations have arrived at a possible blueprint for an agreement.  Iran maintained its nuclear status and accepted a number of "servitudes".  Since the Americans took the initiative,  the outcome can be considered as a diplomatic "coup", witnessed by the major powers who could act as witnesses for the prosecution, in case...

It is too early to judge pluses and minuses. Ambiguities, in terms if verification:  how/where/ when existing enriched uranium will be dealt with, spin of centrifuges, missiles use abound, and will have to be finessed by June.

As could be expected the Republicans are on "automatic negative pilot".  Israel remains opposed to any deal which leaves a nuclear widow open to an Iran's possible volte face. President Obama has conveyed the Sunni Arab states to a "pow pow" in Camp David. It will be an uphill battle to appease the sceptics and placate Congress.

Nevertheless, since the United States started betting on an acceptable outcome this can be considered a success. It is my opinion that the bilateral USA/Iran should neverthelees also have covered connected issues.  After all, Munich was less a failure about what it pretended to achieve than about what it chose to ignore. It can appear surreal to agree with a partner who continues to threaten Israel or the great American Satan (inter alia) or oppose all that what Washington's allies in the region stand for. It is hard to phantom that the American Secretary of State could have ignored all that time "the elephant in the room".  Only the future will tell.

This Lausanne saga is also an illustration of the stubborn management style of the White House.  President Obama is an obsessive mono-guided president who will not waver from the path he chooses, or take into account existing differentials. Herein lie both his strength and his weakness. His narcissism makes it difficult for him to heed the advice of dissenters or to bond with anyone. The adulatory few around him create a screen and outsiders only can see shadows. Such isolation can become toxic and corrupt a result which might have been more convincing if the time would have been set free to engage Congress or a public who feel too often ignored. The Obama presidency represents the denial of its humble beginnings; it has become aloof and tone deaf. 

Montesqieu's "Persian Letters" might be an appropriate reading suggestion!

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