Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Persian carpetry and the merchants of menace

...Innocent tourists walking by a Persian merchant's shop may get ripped off but end up with a carpet - perhaps too expensive, perhaps low quality, perhaps bound to crumble soon - but a carpet. No one in these negotiations ever had a realistic basis for thinking Iran's merchants were selling carpets (i.e. ordinary nuclear energy). Their program was in fact weapons-directed at all stages. The negotiators for the P5+1 all know this, knew this, but smile broadly when the cameras are pointed at them. We wonder how.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
06 April '15..

Dr Michael Oren served Israel as its ambassador to the United States between 2009 and 2013. He ran for the Knesset in the February 2015 elections and is now a politician, representing the brand-spanking-new Kulanu Party (created just five months ago). Still, what he says often hits the right note, in our view.

So here is an extract from an essay of his, published a couple of days ago on the TIME website, and offering some gently-worded but trenchant criticism of the West's approach - and in particular America's - to the Nuclear Iran deal and what the Persian carpet business ("Iran’s largest after oil") can teach us.

...The Middle Eastern form of negotiating, perfected over thousands of years, should no longer be alien to Westerners. The Palestinians have employed it repeatedly, starting each round of peace talks with “how much are you willing to spend?” If the answer is a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps and its capital in East Jerusalem, be assured that this will be their new opening position. The Palestinians — not the Israelis — keep walking away from the table, each time pocketing their newly-obtained concessions.

Nobody should be surprised, when discussions on a final nuclear agreement begin, Iranian delegates treat the parameters agreement as the baseline for garnering an even better price.

(Continue Reading)

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