Iran’s nuclear program
Talking is always preferable to shooting. The greatest skill in international diplomacy is knowing when to talk and when to shoot.
The second greatest strength is believing that there is always at least a faint glimmer of hope that war can be avoided.
On Jan. 12, when all the world, it seemed, was preparing for some kind of military action involving Iran and Israel and/or the United States, Iran shocked the world by agreeing to two diplomatic overtures concerning its nuclear energy program.
For more than three years, Iran has refused to allow the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate claims made by intelligence agencies from the U.S. and other countries that Iran was conducting secret research and development on nuclear weapons.
The IAEA compiled the collected intelligence and produced a report that it released in November. The report concluded that the only purposes for some of the experiments allegedly would be to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran steadfastly denied those charges, but the U.N. agency announced its team would be in Tehran on Jan. 28 to discuss the allegations. Iran still denies the charges, but any agreement to sit and talk about them is a far cry better than the verbal hand grenades that have been lobbed on the issue by politicians in Iran and the U.S.
For now, it’s enough to acknowledge that talking face-to-face about these matters is far preferable than fighting a war over them.
The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.