In Global Nuclear Diplomacy, All Roads Lead to the U.S.

The Turkish Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, or AKP) decision to blatantly oppose sanctions against Iran left Turkey out of the game at a critical stage. When you leave yourself out of the game, you also deprive yourself of being an authority and having a say in the content and scope of the sanctions.

When it was apparent that Turkey was going to be affected most by the sanctions, which approach would be politically correct? To utter, “I’m not playing this game” and be excluded from the sanction talks that may further work against you? Or to have the right to comment during the debate process that could likely minimize the ramifications of the sanctions? Of course, the latter.

Our folks probably thought that the West could not persuade China and Russia with regard to the sanctions. Meanwhile, they wanted to play another game: acting as a peacekeeper. However, they seemed to have forgotten the first rule of the game. The initial role of a peacekeeper is to be objective.

While Davutoglu, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, was traveling back and forth to Tehran in order to sell its peacekeeping role, Prime Minister Erdogan claimed Iran’s advocacy. Not to say that he over-did it.

Who would believe in the objectivity of a prime minister who claims it is a rumor that Iran is following a nuclear military program, whereas all indicators point to that being an actual fact? Have you ever witnessed a “biased peacekeeper,” despite the fact that those who aim to talk Iran out of its nuclear program are not in search of an intermediary? Therefore, rather than the one-man peacekeeping game, let’s focus our attention on the actual stratagem, the sanctions.

We are at the eleventh hour. That is why we receive signs (from Iran) that give the impression of it coming to its senses and undoing its wrongdoings. The foreign minister’s remarks to the Anatolian Agency are quite interesting. Davutoglu says, “An advanced confirmation [of the sanctions package] is not under consideration. We will have to first see the [big] picture.” An encouraging sign of Turkey’s willingness to enter the game.

Other notable remarks by Davutoglu are as follows: “For a group of countries to carry out internal proceedings and claim to come to an agreement also means that the role of other countries in the United Nations Security Council is not being thoroughly evaluated. Especially Turkey, a neighbor of Iran… We are aware of how we are being afflicted with the sanctions against Iraq.” It would be an unsympathetic approach to expect Turkey to suffer from the sanctions against Iran, as it did with the imposed embargo on Iraq.

Two Eastern countries, China and Russia, are close trade partners with Iran. The main reason for their support of the sanctions is that, unlike the suggested meaning of the word “sanction,” the sanctions are modulating rather than not aggravating. It is clear that the modulating sanctions will not include embargoes on petroleum or natural gas. Moreover, the U.S. is against those sanctions that would interrupt the daily life of Iranians. What is also apparent is that the modulating sanctions cannot block Iran’s path to nuclear armament. Furthermore, those that demand the sanctions are well aware that it is impossible to stop a country driven to be a nuclear power and not afraid of self-sacrifice.

Iran’s nuclear armament can only be avoided by a regime change. Sanctions are being demanded to ensure that all lawful avenues are visited and depleted. If there are no further options left on the table, and Iran becomes a nuclear power, this will justify the lawful territorial presence of the “guardian” U.S. to surround Iran, because it will be the demand of those Middle Eastern countries that are afraid of Iran’s [nuclear] capability.

Let’s consider that this were not the case and Israel single-handedly struck against Iran. It would be considered legitimate for the U.S. to use military intervention, just in case Iran targets third-party countries or regional energy resources. In each scenario, a nuclear crisis will result in the justification of the U.S. presence in the region.

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