Ali Ettefagh at PostGlobal

Ali Ettefagh

Tehran, Iran

Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. He is the co-author of several books on trade conflict, resolution of international trade disputes, conflicts in letters of credit, trade-related banking transactions, sovereign debt, arbitration and dispute resolutions and publications specific to the oil and gas, communication, aviation and finance sectors. Dr. Ettefagh is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors of The Development Foundation, an advisor to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and an advisor to a number of European companies. Dr. Ettefagh speaks Persian (Farsi), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish. Close.

Ali Ettefagh

Tehran, Iran

Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. more »

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Good Will and Genuine Diplomacy Wanted

Tehran, Iran - I have spent more than five hours today searching Google and world newspapers for articles about the Iran nuclear deal. Thanks to modern technology, I found more than 2100 headlines-- and that is just in English! What amazes me is not Google's search technology, but rather the hype and impatience around the discussion. Diplomacy and negotiations have been rudely overtaken by spin and imagination.

Iran has taken an ordinary and positive step in diplomatic negotiations by responding to an important proposal. In deference to its negotiating partners, Iran announced that their proposal must be carefully analysed. Questions were asked and clarifications were sought to avoid misunderstandings.

All signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Treaty, including Iran, have the rights afforded to them under Article 4 to access equipment, materials, science and technology along with other member states. This cannot be done without discussions and exchanges. No national requirement of one member should be tied to hurried, short-lived elections or internal politics of any other member country. The detailed inspections of IAEA expert must not be replaced or subordinated to cheap rumours and innuendos.

Iran is not obliged to capitulate under undue and absurd pressures to prove cheap rumors wrong. The language of NPT under Article 2 is very specific: Iran is not required to prove that it is not in pursuit of nuclear weapons. In fact, Iran has offered to put all enrichment assets in an international partnership. This is essentially an offer to prove transparency (and to commercialize its vast uranium ore mines and export).

In all negotiations, Iranian officials have indicated that deals and bargains are a two-way street and there must be genuine and tangible trade-offs. The bargain struck with the EU3 known as the Paris Agreement was not delivered by the other side even though Iran suspended its enrichment operations. Transfers of technology, trade credits or sale of aircraft parts were hollow and disingenuous promises.

Most Iranians believe that abrasive threats neutralize good will in negotiations. Genuine diplomacy is about an equitable deal, and not about flexing muscles. Threats cannot but devalue serious and respectful discussions. Moreover, Iranians are hard pressed to see genuine and open-minded negotiators at the other side of the table if that party has enacted laws and budgets to destabilize Iran with rogue attitudes of "regime change". The stark misery suffered by the Iraqi people is a good reminder for many.

The negotiation agenda is about modern technology and peaceful intentions and such intentions cannot be proven by blunt sanctions or disrespectful behaviour. These negotiations are framed by international treaties and the rights and privileges that come with NPT. They should not be about restricting the rights of treaty members; no precedent should be set for that direction. But I really wonder whether all parties will negotiate and follow the same rules.

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