In recent weeks we've again seen an escalation of US/Israeli threats to attack Iran. Among many other examples, the House of Representatives is currently considering a resolution promoted by AIPAC that would effectively demand a blockade against Iran. This resolution has over 200 co-sponsors, although a surge of opposition has prevented it from being passed so far. (The resolution is H. Con. Res. 362; you can ask your Representatives to oppose it here.)
Here's what those promoting military attacks and blockades on Iran don't want Americans to know: there's an offer on the table that could resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program and allow both sides to claim victory.
In this short interview, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering makes the case for talks with Iran without pre-conditions on multilateral uranium enrichment in Iran.
In March, Ambassador Pickering co-authored "A Solution for the US-Iran Nuclear Standoff" in the New York Review of Books. Pickering and his co-authors wrote:
"We propose that Iran's efforts to produce enriched uranium and other related nuclear activities be conducted on a multilateral basis, that is to say jointly managed and operated on Iranian soil by a consortium including Iran and other governments. This proposal provides a realistic, workable solution to the US-Iranian nuclear standoff. Turning Iran's sensitive nuclear activities into a multinational program will reduce the risk of proliferation and create the basis for a broader discussion not only of our disagreements but of our common interests as well. "
On May 31, the Boston Globe interviewed Iran's Ambassador to the UN, who said that Iran "would not suspend its own enrichment program, but would consider establishing an internationally owned consortium inside Iran that could produce nuclear fuel with Iranian participation." The Globe noted in a follow-up piece on June 10 that Iran had proposed this idea in its May 13 letter to the UN calling for comprehensive negotiations, that the proposal was broadly similar to the Pickering proposal, and that Iran's UN Ambassador had said that the details should be negotiated.
Unfortunately, most Americans don't read the New York Review of Books or the Boston Globe. So, while polls consistently show most Americans want negotiations with Iran to resolve the nuclear dispute, most Americans don't know that there's an offer on the table right now to resolve the nuclear dispute that the US government is walking away from.
If this video makes the rounds, Americans can learn that there's a plan on the table right now to resolve the nuclear dispute. Let's not wait until after the devastation of another illegal war to discuss the fact that there was a diplomatic alternative.
Robert Naiman is Senior Policy Analyst at Just Foreign Policy.