Alwaght- WikiLeaks is continuing to trigger controversy with its latest revelations pertaining to US ties with Iran. The whistleblowing website has stumbled upon CIA chief John Brennan’s email account and published some of its content including reports on Afghanistan, torture, and ideas for US policy toward the Islamic Republic.
The documents, which include the Conundrum of Iran, were posted in 2007 and 2008, when Brennan headed a private intelligence company.
In a note titled “the Conundrum of Iran”, Brennan recommended the president-to be in 2009 to take up negotiations with Iran. The CIA chief summarized Iran’s political development over the years to emphasize the importance of engaging in negotiations with Tehran-which is growing into a major power- to serve US interests in the long run.
Brennan acknowledged Iran’s position in the world and the inevitability of finding common ground with Iran.
“The United States has no choice but to find a way to coexist—and to come to terms—with whatever government holds power in Tehran,” Brennan wrote.
The CIA director said the willingness must be mutual.
“At the same time, the Iranian Government also must come to terms with Washington, as Tehran’s ability to advance its political and economic interests rests on a non-hostile relationship with the United States and the West,” he added.
Brennan offered the following recommendations which, as recent developments have shown, were integrated into Washington’s policies toward Tehran and whose effects upon nuclear negotiations culminated in a historic nuclear deal:
1-Tone Down the Rhetoric:
While the US has continued to wage a war of words against Iran in recent years, it has witnessed a tone down in rhetoric. The Obama administration, for example, has removed the term axis of evil that includes the Islamic Republic which brought into the American political dictionary by his predecessor George W. Bush.
2-Establish a Direct Dialogue with Tehran:
“Iran’s importance to U.S. strategic interests and to overall stability in the region necessitates the establishment of a direct and senior-level dialogue between Washington and Tehran,” Brennan stressed in the three-page memo.
Although the two sides have not engaged in talks in domains other than the nuclear issue, the agreement struck between Iran and the p5+1 over its uranium enrichment program is a step forward. As a result of the talks, US Secretary of State met with his Iranian counterpart. Such high-level meetings had been extinct for years. But aside from the meetings between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his counterpart John Kerry, a historic phone call saw both Presidents Barack Obama and Sheikh Hasan Rouhani on the two ends of the line, the highest-level contact between the two states in three decades.
3-Seek Realistic, Measureable Steps
The nuclear deal is proof of this. Much to the dismay of the Israeli regime, the US was part of the group that signed the deal with Iran which included realistic goals that can be achieved through assessable steps.
4-Hold out Meaningful Carrots, as Well as Sticks: This part is debatable. While it is true that Tehran needed a sanctions relief, it was also practicing economic resistance. The US claims Iran needed the agreement more than it did but as far as the Iranians are concerned it’s the other way around.
But what does this mean for Iran? It may as well have turned out to be the complete opposite. The US has no doubt chosen the road not taken toward Iran’s nuclear program and this has in turn taken a burden off Iran’s shoulders. However, even if Washington had chosen a different path Iran would still be able to gain ground.