The key to unlocking peace in the Middle East may have just been handed to us by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who told NBC News national and international correspondent, Ann Curry, that Iran has no intention of creating nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction of any kind. When asked about Iranian denial of the Holocaust, Rouhani replied that those statements were made by his predecessor.
He also revealed that he has requested a diplomatic meeting with President Obama.
Apparently, this is in response to a letter from President Obama congratulating Rouhani on his election, followed by a series of letters discussing issues. It certainly didn’t hurt that the US agreed to Russia’s agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria rather than a military strike.
It is not yet certain if these overtures will result in a renewed relationship with Iran. But no matter what happens, it shows that diplomacy is a far better option than military strikes and senile threats such as “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!”
It also demonstrates that statesmanship can work better than military force. It almost always shows more strength to resist the temptation for violence than to make threats and attempt to bully others. Moreover, it shows what can happen when we have leaders determined to get us out of ill-conceived wars than to get us into them.
If we are able to eventually normalize relations with Iran, it not only would release the pent-up energy and intellectual capital that has been strangling in Iran as a result of religious fundamentalism and our economic sanctions. It could reduce poverty in the country and eliminate one of the greatest destabilizing forces in the region. Instead of sponsoring terrorists, Iran could redirect the money to help others who are struggling economically.
After spending all but 33 years of our history at war, wouldn’t it be interesting to finally enjoy the fruits of peace?