I was daydreaming, like any fiction author does, trying to fathom various realities. In my dream there was a deal actually being implemented between the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany regarding a new order in the Middle East, starting with Syria. Right out of a reverie, Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons, which it started immediately in full force, and formally acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Then, Hezbollah forces retreated from Syria and returned to Lebanon. The immediate unspoken outcome: Assad appears to be keeping his stronghold of Syria- with the tacit nod from the P5+1, while the al Qaeda and Jihadist rebels are taking serious losses. Israel, which had earlier supported some Syrian rebel groups has changed its mind and sits at the sidelines, as long as the fighting do not spill over into Israel. All that would have never happened unless Assad took the deal with the P5+1. Assad must have been given an offer he could not refuse from the P5+1 - which includes Russia, his only ally: get rid of your chemical weapons, send Hezbollah forces back to Lebanon, and detach from Iran, or else... Like any politician, Assad opted for his survivorship.
I woke up into the cold reality and realized that any deal, fictional or real, was probably not limited to Syria only. Furthermore, it created a positive atmosphere between the West and Russia, both with significant, but different interests in Syria.
Such a deal may have been the final straw that pushed Iran to commence with its "smile attack," because it has immediately diminished their influence in Syria, and by diffusion also in Lebanon.
With fewer cards to play in the regional poker game, Iran is playing the only powerful card it has: maneuvering tactics in preparation for negotiations in Geneva scheduled for October 15-16: It started when Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said a few days ago - that the six powers, and not Iran, must come up with new proposals. The Iranian Majlis (parliament) deputy chairman Mohammad Reza Bahonar demanded that there will be "win win policies, meaning that both sides must be seen as victorious. Never mind the suffocating sanctions against Iran that forced them to recognize they could not continue with their military nuclear plans unless they agree to face an economic meltdown.
Although portrayed as omnipotent, the Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei must reassure the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, his main power base, that their major role - and significant economic assets - will not suffer. Ayatollah Khamenei, addressing high-ranking commanders and veterans of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in Tehran said that new Iranian friendly rhetoric is simply tactical. "I agree with the issue that I called some years ago as heroic flexibility since this move is highly good and necessary on certain occasions, but with commitment to one main condition." Khamenei described apprehending the opposite side's nature and gathering a correct understanding of his goal-setting as the main condition for using the heroic flexibility tactic, and said, "A technical wrestler also shows flexibility for technical reasons sometimes, but he would never forget who his rival is and what his main goal is."
Clearly, the Supreme leader was signaling a change of tactics, not a change of policy. The new tactic contains several well-calculated steps. First, Rouhani the Iranian president came to the UN General Assembly full of smiles and soft talk. Next, Iran released a few political prisoners. President Rouhani took a telephone call from U.S. President Barack Obama, the first conversation between the heads of governments of the two estranged nations in over thirty years.
Next, Iran has cancelled the annual New Horizons hate conference. The annual event was set up by Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and showcased the former president's vitriolic anti-Israeli rhetoric and promoted his anti-Israeli sentiments. When the conference was first held in 2005, Ahmadinejad made his infamous remark that Israel should be "wiped off the map." He later suggested that the Holocaust was a "myth."
Then, the Iranian parliament's chairman, Ali Larijani, has announced that Iran has already excess amount of 20% enriched Uranium which it does not need, and therefore is open to start negotiations with the West over its nuclear program.
There's no question that Iran wants an end to the crippling international sanctions. The inflation, the unemployment, the social unrest, and their star membership in the Pariahs of the World Club contribute their share to push Iran into reality. However, with Iran - the world's champion of negotiations leading to nowhere, we will not know until the October 15-16 meetings end, and beyond, if Iran is serious or will continue to engage in an endless futile marathon of talks. On their end the P5+1 should make Iran realize that it cannot have a military nuclear program as well as a seat at the dinner table with other distinguished states. It is either, or. Iranian smiling faces is better than grim-faced Iranian faces, but solid results are required before the sanctions are lifted.
"Declare victory and leave" was the advice from the late Sen. George Aiken, R-Vt. a Vietnam-era Republican senator to both Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon when things were going from bad to worse in the Vietnam War, but they ignored him. Since the Iranians want a Win-Win resolution, it may be good advice for them: stop the military nuclear plan get the sanctions gradually lifted and then declare victory.
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