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The US-Iran Relations | Essay

1623 words (6 pages) Essay in Politics

24/04/17 Politics Reference this

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The nuclear program of Iran is one of the most engaging issues in the Middle East today. The U.S and its allies accuses Iran of building nuclear weapons, but Iran’s stance is firm that the only reason why they are developing a nuclear program is to harness it to generate electricity to provide fuel for their medical reactors so that they will not splurge into using its valuable oil resources and instead prefers it to sell abroad. As President Ahmadinejad said, the argument over Iran’s nuclear program was a political issue rather than a legal matter and needs to be resolved politically. The

The Philippines being an ally of the U.S. and at the same time having diplomatic relations with Iran, has to take its position in this global issue. It is to the best interest of the country to promote peace and prosperity in the region and waging a full scale war with Iran is not the best possible solution. Any military action to Iran will provoke retaliation and will cause a disruption in the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf that will push price to increase significantly. Our dependence on oil from this region will surely affect our economy and may even spark another global economic crisis.

Analytical Framework

America is a great nation founded on values of freedom, individual rights and liberty. As a world superpower, it has the right to promote and defend freedom, democracy and support economic opportunity. US role in promoting democracy in the Middle East is a measure of how US influence can solve socio-political issues that is being faced by these Arab countries. US aggressive foreign policy to promote true redistribution of power in this Arab region will be the issue that needs to be taken seriously by however wins the US Presidency (Obama).

Neo-conservatism in the US has always been associated with domestic policy, hence, in the pretext of foreign policy, it favors globalism and takes active involvement in world affairs. On foreign policy, neoconservatives believe that US has the right to spread democracy around the world. Neoconservatives in the US political system sometimes when supporting a strong foreign policy, favors of engaging in military actions in its efforts to spread democracy worldwide.

Overview

US efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East should focus on realistic political reforms that aim to capacitate Arab countries towards economic and political stability. The US influence in these Islamic dominated countries should be dealt with extreme caution if they wanted improvement in the political system as well as socio-economic realities.

US foreign policy community is now focusing on giving much attention on the issues of democracy and other possibilities in the Middle East. However, no matter how sincere the US has in presenting themselves as a pro-democratic actor, the lack of credibility is their biggest debacle. Many Americans are insisting that they are bona fide pro-democratic actors but the hurting truth remains that many still around the world do not buy what they are claiming. The credibility issues will continue to haunt even the well-intentioned efforts of the US to support genuine political change in the Arab region. Efforts should be made to alleviate the gap by the US to pursue a long lasting democratic engagement with the Middle East. Issues on the compatibility of democracy and Islamism and if Middle East is ready for the democratic evolution is now the subject of discussions in almost all levels of society. These are issues that only time can answer.

US-Iran Relations

Iran used to be a powerful ally of the United States during the Cold War, and expressly provided support against the Soviet Union. The US government, in their desire to restore democracy in Iran went to the point of supporting the very unpopular regime of the The Shah of Iran. It was during the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini that Americans got their first glimpse of radical Islam.

Today, the nuclear program of Iran concerns not only the US but the whole world as well. Sometimes there are predictions that they will go to war but even US-Iranian relationship is wrapped with tension, the key concern is the status of the nuclear program of Iran. It can be noted that it was the U.S. who supported Iran in the 1960’s to begin its nuclear program for purposes of producing nuclear power. In 1979 however, when the U.S. backed Iranian government was overthrown, the relationship between the two countries turned sour and deteriorated overtime. The relationship never recovered and until today, both countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.

The nuclear program of Iran has been under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring and inspection. The issue on whether Iran is secretly enriching uranium to a weapon grade level was already settled in 2003, when they voluntarily suspended its enrichment program because of international condemnation. However, in 2006, Iran began enriching uranium again but has always been consistent that they have no intention of developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s right to a nuclear program on the basis that it is for peaceful purposes worries government around the world and the dilemma is that, it is difficult to distinguish between the “good atoms” used for nuclear power and the “bad atoms” used for nuclear weapons. To solve the issue, world leaders are pushing Iran to source their nuclear fuel from other countries instead of making the fuel by itself. And besides, if Iran would really desire for nuclear weapons, it is for the purpose of providing for its own security and secure its own self-preservation.

Iran being the third biggest oil producing nation, economies around the world are closely monitoring the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. The uninterrupted supply of oil and a steady price is a critical part not only for the U.S. economy but also to other world economy. U.S. is now in the process of recovering from the recent global financial crisis and any hint of increase from oil prices will definitely take a toll in its economy and may plunge it back to recession. As a policy maker, there should be due considerations on the effects of any policy towards Iran as it may translate to limiting the flow of oil from that region.

During this period of transformation of the Middle East or some dubbed it as the Arab Spring, democratic protest in several countries have threatened or even toppled down long-term leaders, most of them are associated with the U.S.. Being a regional power, Iran has been observed to be opening its doors to these countries to extend their influence across Middle East.

Overall, the U.S. policy toward Iran is a key issue in the U.S. foreign policy today. They should not complicate the issue and possible address the issues on the U.S.-Iranian agenda, like human rights and terrorism at the same time with the nuclear issue.

Recommendations

The current issue involving the U.S. and Iran especially its nuclear program is an issue that has to be addressed with extreme caution. The Philippines being an ally of the U.S. should be keen about the growing issue and if given the chance to recommend any policies to the US, I recommend scaling back tensions and avoiding war.

Iran’s having a nuclear program is a threat that was blown out of proportion. The issue here is not Iran’s having a nuclear weapon but the risk of dragging the United States again to wage a costly war in this highly volatile region. The collateral damage is catastrophic and outweighs the risk of Iran’s nuclear arms capabilities. On the other hand, even if Iran happens to acquire nuclear weapons, it is the last option they will resort to do because several countries in the past seventy years that have acquired nuclear weapons but none of them so far has used it since 1945.

We should therefore persuade the U.S. to change its position towards Iran and also all its allies to do the same. The use force or any military covert action will only escalate the tension and promotes war. The only possible solution that will bring a win win situation to improve the US-Iran relations is by reducing tension and avoiding conflict. Trade negotiations should be restored, renew diplomatic relations and begin the gradual lifting of economic sanctions. Iran has so many internal problems and going to war will not gain any support from its people. U.S. should earn the trust of the Iranian people by offering a genuine diplomatic relations and open trade.

Conclusion

Oil remains the only reason why our country is keeping economic transaction with Iran. The Philippines in 2006 purchased at an average of 110,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran and in 2008, Iran agreed to invest $125Million in the petrochemical market. According to an Iranian trade official, the value of non-oil exports from Iran to the Philippines stood at $83 million in 2009. In 2009, the bilateral trade between the two countries totaled $370 million with the potential for growth on both sides. The Philippine governments should support Iran’s right to use peaceful nuclear energy. The current problem on the rising of hydrocarbon prices is a green light for all countries to be able to access civilian nuclear energy. The Philippine stand is to supports Iran’s right to access peaceful nuclear technology under the safeguards of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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