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Iran: Pessimism and optimism

29 July 2015 [17:31] - TODAY.AZ

By Claude Salhani 

The visit to Tehran earlier this week by EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has raised new hopes among optimists that the deal signed between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 earlier this month will use trade and industry to bring Iran closer to its neighbors, thus emulating the European Union example.

Indeed, the concept of the founding fathers of the European Economic Community, the pre-cursor to the European Union, was to create such economic closeness among the member states that the very concept of war between any member states would become unthinkable. Countries that throughout history had been fighting each other for centuries, today are economic partners in trade and commerce and allies in the wars on drugs and terrorism.
Today the very notion of an armed conflict between France and the United Kingdom is unimaginable. A war between the Dutch and the Spaniards is just not possible, nor is war between France and Germany.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, often referred to as the P5+1, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, reached an agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions July 14. As in everything else, there are those who support the motion and those who oppose it. There are the pro-Iran and the anti-Iran groups, lobbies and then there are the pessimists and optimists.

A pessimist is someone who will always see the down side of thing, whereas the optimist always looks on the bright side of every situation.

As could be expected, the recent accords between Iran and the P5+1 has produced a wide ranging array of views and counterviews from both optimists and pessimists.

And if you listen closely, eventually, they both begin to make sense at some point.
The optimists are grabbing at straws, hoping sometimes against all odds that the smallest bit of information will lead to bigger and more positive developments.

Some optimists are banking on hopes that with time Iran will mature as a society, and can be pushed and prodded by economic and trade incentives to follow the EU example and convert to adopting a commercial outlook to life rather than the current focus on religion.
Uniting the Middle East with one major religion and two or three languages should be relatively simple when compared to Europe who had to face the Herculean task of dealing with 27 nations speaking 23 different languages as diverse as French, Lithuanian, Hungarian and Maltese, practicing dozens of different religions, but united in the single largest economic market in the world.

War in Europe today is unimaginable because the EU has intertwined the economies of its member states in such a manner that it is simply unthinkable for any two members to resort to armed conflict any longer. How difficult could it be for the Middle East where there are only two languages and far fewer religions?

What facilitated the task of uniting the Europeans and allowed for this economic unity was the mindset of the Europeans and the absence of religious fervor that is incrusted in the Iranian and in Islamic societies and in Muslim countries far more so than religion is in Europe.

Will the Middle East ever reach the point where they will be able to do what the European did and look towards a brighter future without strife?
Time will tell.

/By Trend/


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