Give diplomacy a chance in Iran

Anderson is a senior political science major from Cumming. He is currently writing a thesis about U.S. interventions.

Elijah Anderson

The United States of America’s long and storied relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the more interesting and complex affairs in our country’s history. From the coup the U.S. assisted back in the 1950s to the Iranian student protestors who stormed the American embassy in 1979, it seems our two countries’ histories are woven together in a reoccurring and often high-stakes drama that makes “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” look like child’s play.

The escapades continued this past week as, for the first time in nearly 30 years, the United States and Iran engaged in negotiations that, if successful, would have halted Iran’s nuclear attainment program in exchange for “limited” relief from Western sanctions. Joining these intensive debates were the other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom. Due to a last-minute objection by France, the negotiations stalled and a deal was not met.

We as Americans should not be discouraged though. Much to the disdain of our country’s War Hawks, diplomacy is finally working and is a path we should adamantly pursue. Despite the failure to strike a deal this past week, it is clear that the sanctions levied on Iran are obviously working. Why else would Iran be so willing to negotiate after a 30-year silence on the issue?

Such a drastic change of pace should be welcomed worldwide, and that is precisely why I am flabbergasted by the Americans that are upset that we are negotiating with Iran. Wind this back a few years and try to imagine if George W. Bush’s administration would ever sit down for negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This, of course, would have been the same time period when Bush listed Iran as a part of the “Axis of Evil” and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei defamed the United States as “The Great Satan.”

Thus, we should be optimistic. The new leader democratically elected by the Iranian people is clearly an agent of change. Since his election in July of this year, President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly expressed interest in negotiating with Western powers to alleviate the sanctions paralyzing his economy. We would be amiss to let this opportunity pass us by.

It is high time that the United States throws out its reluctance to negotiate with our perceived enemies. As we advance into the 21st century we will continually lose our status as the world’s sole superpower, and with that our ability to bully our enemies into submission by the threat of military force. Diplomacy will be our savior, and the current negotiations with Iran can be the first step to a bright future.