Why New Zealand must stand behind Iran nuclear deal

Yesterday the Prime Minister of Israel made a massive claim: Iran is lying. It is not compliant with the terms of its nuclear agreement with the United Nations Security Council P5 nations plus Germany. The claim, which is one that now brings huge pressure on Mr Netanyahu to deliver is also one he cannot afford to be wrong on if he wishes to retain any credbility.

It is also one New Zealand must make its position very clear on.

Mr Netanyahu has never supported the Iranian nuclear deal and insists that Iran is lying about its commitment to it. He points to 55,000 pages and 183 CDs worth of evidence that the Israeli Mossad allegedly stole

Mr Netanyahu is a proponent of fear. His Government makes Iran out to be an enemy capable of destroying Israel and willing to try. If that were true, it would have done so by now. Except there is one huge problem with Mr Netayahu’s thinking. Actually, two:

  1. The United States would not hesitate to use military force against Iran or any other country that attacks Israel militarily
  2. Iran knows in conventional military combat it cannot beat the United States, and – for fear of W.W.3. – Russia would think long and hard before it came to Iran’s support

But still the fearmongering goes on, both in Tel Aviv and in the United States with willing support from Fox News and Republican hawks.

The regime of the Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei might have also been lost in translation. Whilst there are definitely anti-Israeli forces in Iranian politics and no doubt supported by the Ayatollahs, there have been verified incidents in which Persian dialects have been badly translated by the Western media, leading to the perception Iran wishes to nuke Israel. One such case involving former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to mass walkouts at the United Nations when he addressed the General Assembly.

The overwhelming expectation I imagine of the rest of the world is on Mr Netanyahu and that is simple: put up the evidence of Iran not being compliant or shut up.

New Zealand must stand firmly in support of the Iranian nuclear deal. Neither the United States or Israel have come up with a better plan that has the support of the rest of the United Nations Security Council or Germany, much less Iran. I sincerely doubt there is any plan to put a better proposal up.

There is a second reason for supporting the Iran deal. This is more important than ever now. There needs to be a deal that North Korea could potentially aspire to if the political situation on the Korean Peninsula ever gets to the stage where North Korea can be trusted not to use a reactor to make weapons grade material. The type of deal necessary is there – it just needs to be modified to suit the situation with the Korea’s.

But it will not be any use if the key players, the ones with the influence who can show North Korea right from wrong, walk away from it. This is why New Zealand needs to stand its ground, tell the world why we support it and not give an inch to anyone. Because walking away from this deal potentially pitches both parts of the world into a degree of uncertainty and fear that no one benefits from.

No one except the military industrial complex.


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