Hopes on the Horizon
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate
The agreement between Iran and 5 +1 on the nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic has been coined as a major historical event which has changed the course of events not only with respect to relationships among these nations but also at the broader international level. This new page in history has brought into light the real image of Iran. Adversaries for a long time, used a name calling game to label Iran as a threat, as irrational and hostile in mainstream media, they had invested on creating a negative and fearsome image . Iran was portrayed as a source of instability and threat for the region, Iranophobia was advertised to ensure a constant sales of arms to the Sheikhdoms of Persian Gulf. Iran was excessively threatened and pressured for several years. Unnecessary and illegal sanctions were adopted against Iran, including chapter 7 resolutions which could take a country to military confrontation. A continuation of that trend would have eventually lead to escalation of conflicts in the very volatile west Asian region. While the sanctions did pressure the economy and environment in Iran, the nation withstood the pressures. Iranians were never prepared to submit or to relinquish their rights as a dignified member of the global community.
In the Presidential elections of 2013 the people of Iran voted for a change in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. They voted so that the nuclear issue would be resolved in a peaceful and balanced manner, protecting the rights of Iran to peaceful nuclear technologies but also addressing international concerns. Dr. Rouhani was elected by the people to change the previous trends and address both national and international challenges in a rational manner. In addition to the weight that the Rouhani administration gave to curbing inflation and improving conditions for the workplace and employment ,special emphasis was placed on environmental standards and mainstreaming sustainable development policy as well as a robust health care scheme which was implemented nationwide. As his government was tackling the very difficult internal issues, Dr. Rouhani mandated the Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif and his team to engage with the 5+1 for a serious resolution of the nuclear issue. According to many observers, the Iranian negotiating team were both very qualified and experienced but also knowledgeable on the technical matters, particularly since Dr. Salehi the current Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation joined them. A regional power negotiated competently for several months with six major global powers , even as the stream of events unfolded it became clear that Iranians, clear on their rights and objectives, are patient and polite and as Zarif noted clearly “ Iranians are not to be threatened”. After a lengthly process of negotiations where many issues were resolved and both sides made possible concessions, hardliners from both sides began a campaign to derail and spoil the processes. Also those who felt that their interests were undermined began a smearing campaign. The highest political will on all sides and specifically the support of the Supreme Leader, who indicated his full trust for the negotiating team, paved way for the final round and ultimate settlement.
A longstanding conflict between Iran and the West came to a settlement which can prevent a new war and military adventures in the region. Many clashes in the world have led to armed conflict and loss of human life, this is a new chapter in the international scene where a conflict is resolved through tedious and long months of negotiations. This is an example of a win win outcome where both sides believe they have gained. The strong message of peace and reconciliation that this agreement sends in a world marred by the terrible violence and killings of the extremists and terrorists, is a beacon of hope for the world and can serve as an example for others.
The Holy Quran has many lessons for humankind, it makes a clear reference to such examples in the verse Fuselat ayat 34 : “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”