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It shouldn't be so difficult

Reader comment on item: Obama Turns on Israel

Submitted by James Guest (Australia), Nov 22, 2013 at 15:17

Experience of negotiating leads, if there are no confounding matters of face or urgent political timing to get in the way, to one basic tactic. One would put it to the Iranians to come up with a way to assure everyone that there was a foolproof guarantee that Iran could not progress towards production of a nuclear weapon. In the most genial way one says "we trust you of course, we even trust your government but let's try and deal effectively with the suspicions of someone who might be characterised as a highly intelligent, highly ingenious, highly imaginative and extremely suspicious and untrusting lawyer with deep scientific knowledge and technological expertise to boot". So you put all the searching cross-examining questions in the politest possible way taking whatever time is necessary.

The answer has come back from Tehran on some issue....." Yes, that's helpful ['up to a point', maybe not said] but let's face it we are trying to satisfy the most nit-pickingly critical suspicious person whom we are - hypothetically of course - very worried might do something seriously damaging if we don't get all the loose ends tied up....." "So, can we perhaps be so bold as to think of something decisive such as automatic resumption of restraints on trade [we won't call them 'sanctions' will we?] if the authorised inspector reports that he has been refused access to anything he deems fit to require access to or he is unable to make any report or return to Geneva". "Quite, yes, we entirely accept that any powers that can be misused, and most powers can be, should have countervailing measures erected in advance. So, we agree that there should be adequate provision for punishment, or guaranteed compensation, as suits the case, if there is an abuse of powers. After all we don't want there to be stand-offs wherein an inspector who is trying to do his job thouroughly insists on seeing all the software specifications and those responsible for what is being inspected inisist that such valuable proprietary informaton can't be allowed into anyone else's hands." And so on.... and on..... It takes time, and, to approve the truth of an old cliché, the devil is in and should be looked for in the detail.

Submitting....

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