By Mark Pyruz
That there will be a cost to pay for maintaining a legalist position toward its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic of Iran's leadership understand full well. From previous experiences with the West where the West has failed to deliver and continually moved the nuclear goalposts, they realize that it is nuclear rights and, to an extent, their very sovereignty that is at issue here. When one frames the issue in real Iranian terms, the Iranian position is well understood and predictable. Dennis Ross himself has written on taking advantage of this, and on purposely advancing an offer of false engagement that is intended to be rejected, in order to boost an anti-Iran agenda that deprives Iran of its nuclear rights, and moves forward elements of economic warfare to be directed against the Islamic Republic. This is a matter of public record, which everyone has read including the Iranians.
A considerable amount of effort is being undertaken by the US State Department, to further isolate Iran and advance this anti-Iran agenda. One wonders how a sincere effort of US engagement by President Obama toward Iran would fare if a similar level of effort were undertaken beyond that of an abrupt take-it-or-leave-it offer, comparable to the exertion of the USG's current anti-Iran efforts.
That the USG will ultimately succeed toward this latest anti-Iran effort is to be expected. But success this time around is also costing America, in terms of its leadership role on these related issues. The 118 member Non-Aligned Movement is behind the Islamic Republic of Iran's right to nuclear power, and the double standard policies exhibited by US policy is not being lost on rising regional powers, such as Turkey, China and Brazil. While these takeaways may appear minor for the US compared to the level of economic sacrifice the Iranians are willing to accept in order to retain their nuclear rights and sovereignty, nevertheless this has a cumulative and enduring effect on US world standing.
The Islamic Republic of Iran remains a revolutionary nation. Issues of rights and sovereignty shared by nations of the developing world make up elements of this revolutionary personality, and a shared cause such as the nuclear rights of developing nations allows revolutionary Iran to once again exhibit moral courage on the world stage, in the face of obvious double standard and hypocrisy. For the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, this is of considerable importance, in addition to the very real advantages of developing an indigenous nuclear industry. Toward this endeavor, they appear to have the majority support of the Iranian people.