To present day Iranian leaders as well as a great majority of former ones, Iran's relationship with the international community especially the US is viewed in terms of a "wolf and sheep" example.
It is therefore not surprising that Iran has consistently failed in diplomacy and negotiations because these require some sort of a compromise. And compromise to Iranians is equivalent to being the "sheep", "bowing down", "zeleel". "khak bar sar" and "too sare khor."
Iran has so far maintained that it is fully within its rights regarding the enrichment of uranium for civilian purposes. Yet the international community doesn't buy it.
Iran leaders has repeatedly said that they would never compromise their sovereighnity to please others. Today there are two cases that Iranian leaders should follow very closely.
One is Arizona, where a good majority of its legal residents believe that tough measures should be taken to keep out illegal immigrants. While, this is fully within their rights as a sovereign state, it sticks out of the "accepted norm." Since the signing of a bill allowing for tough measures against illegals, many US cities have began boycotting Arizona. Cities like Boston and Oakland, soon to be followed by others, are also "choosing and exercising their sovereign right" to boycott Arizona. Time will only tell how business in Arizona will be affected.
Another case that Iranian leaders should clsely watch is Greece. In Greece, which is facing a hugh national debt equivalent to 3 times its annual GDP, their are riots nationawide. As part of the EU's and the IMF's economic aid to Greece, conditions have been placed on Greece to follow austerity measures. This means that the Greek government should severely cut back on spending if it is to see a dime in foreign aid. Obviously, a great majority of Greeks are unhappy, especially pensioners, laborers and teachers amongst many other groups. However, in spite of the riots overwhelming Greece and given that the current political party in charge may be voted out, the Greece government has gone ahead and announced that it will follow through with austerity measures in order to recieve foreign financial aid. TIme will only tell, how things will turn out.
In Both of these cases, we see that Sovereignity of a nation should not be viewed in only black and white contrasts. Rather, their are many shades of grey.
In Arizona we see that if a sovereign state (with the support of its citizens) acts in a way that is "out of the social norms", there will be consequences. These consequences could eventually hurt the state and its citizens in the long run.
In Greece, we see that a sovereign state (against the wishes of its citizens) is choosing to "act within the norms" set by the international community in order to get a reprieve and avoid drowning in the possible short term.
The international commmunity is under no obligation to befriend a sovereign nation, even a full fledged democracy, if it acts outside of the "social norms."
Iran should closely follow the aftermath in both of these states, in order to get a better grip on reality.
Iran, at this point, has not only a serious trust issue problem with the international community, but even its pursuit of civilian nuclear energy is percieved as outside the "norm" for a Middle Eastern country rich in oil. Hence, the world community has thrown down the gauntlet and given Iran a choice: drop the nuclear energy project or face isolation.
Arizona will correct its actions before its too late. Greece too will go ahead with its severe spending cuts. Iranian leaders may need to consider a long term freeze, in order to build the foundations of trust from grounds up before seeking civilian nuclear energy. The alternative would be an energy rich Iran, with the capacity to keep the TV satellite channels on and plenty of home stuck audiences who have no jobs or trade.
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