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NIAC and Toscano's Congressional briefing
Hassan Dai


On Monday June 27, NIAC organized a Hill briefing that was moderated by its life time president Trita Parsi. The speaker was Roberto Toscano, former Italian Ambassador to Iran. According to NIAC report, "He assessed recent approaches to diplomacy with Iran and how a new approach could yield more favorable results.  When diplomats fail, Toscano said, there is conflict.  He said that engagement is necessary to prevent such conflict, and talking to Iran, while sustaining a focus on human rights, would benefit the Iranian people.  Isolating states like Iran, Toscano argued, only enables nationalists in the ruling regime to expand their influence."

Toscano discussed his recent LA Times op-edpublished with five other former European ambassadors to Iran. They propose a nuclear settlement with Iran that accepts the Islamic Republic as a "threshold country". They wrote:

"Today, a majority of experts, even in Israel, seems to view Iran as striving to become a "threshold country," technically able to produce a nuclear weapon but abstaining from doing so for the present. Again, nothing in international law or in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty forbids such an ambition."

Toscano and NIAC try to sell an old merchandise with the same old package. Once again, they try to put the blame on US and argue that the West has not been enough generous with Tehran. Again, they ask for more engagement and more incentives for the Mullahs. But the Obama administration and his European allies tried to reach an agreement with Iran that could reduce tensions and pave the road for "Threshold" initiatives. And they totally failed.

The Supreme Leader was the final obstacle to such agreements simply because this regime has greater agendas that do not fit in these kind of agreements. Mr. Parsi who was personally present in secret meetings between Ahmadinejad's delegation and American envoys in 2008 and 2009 and was actively trying to convince the lawmakers to participate in such meetings, could clarify this aspect of impasse in nuclear negotiations and could easily point to the root cause of the failure: the Iranian regime.

Toscano should also clarify a troubling issue. How could a " nuclear deal with Iran fits into pressuring the regime on human rights issue? In order to reach a deal with the regime, the West should be enough generous and offer a very attractive package of incentives to the Mullahs including not to interfere in Iranian internal affairs. How does Toscano envisage to be nice with the Mullahs in order to reach a deal with them, and at the same time, pressure and sanction the regime for its brutality against its people? Unless the human rights rhetoric is nothing more than a "human face" for an agreement with such a brutal regime.   



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hassan.dai@yahoo.com
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