Nuclear Iran: Diplomacy still the best strategy

Mellisa attended the IISS Regional Security Summit: the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. Mellisa Is an airborne Tactical Coordinator in the Royal Australian Air Force. and she is also studying a Masters of Science, focusing on Operations Research and Statistics.


After thirty years of heavy sanctions and the constant threat of military intervention, Iran has failed to be deterred from its ambitious nuclear intent. Recently, Tehran has indicated it will cease higher enrichment of uranium if sanctions are lifted and its right to enrich is duly recognised. With Iran showing increasing flexibility in recent negotiations, the best way forward is a diplomatic one. Previous attempts for diplomacy by a number of countries, notably the P5+1, have failed as a result of breakdowns in communication due to public hard line statements by each of the nations, concurrent sanctions and military threats delivered by Israel, the United States and on occasion the European Union (EU). Sidelining sanctions, removing immediate threats to their sovereignty and then making a shift for private bi-lateral negotiations between the United States and Iran have a greater change of yielding a successful outcome. The involvement of Washington may also help allay particular security fears by Israel whose influence on previous negotiations has been unhelpful. Removing the crippling sanctions and a shift for diplomacy should not be viewed as a reward, but a pragmatic tool for achieving a successful outcome for all relevant parties. The West can ensure that by lifting sanctions and removing direct military threats, they have done everything in their power to discourage nuclear proliferation and prevent an ongoing conflict rather than encourage both.

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