'US and Iran both need to make concessions'
Beefing up forces in the Middle East, Washington is trying to reassure its allies in the region that the US has their backs.
“Even as the United States appears to be pursuing a diplomatic resolution with Iran, they are also continuing to ramp up some of their contingency planning for potential military operations and [show] that the military option certainly remains on the table.”
It would be impossible to find way out of the crisis with both sides believing their own rhetoric and being spanned by their own propaganda, says Abdi.
“On [the] Iranian side they look at the increased enrichment, some of their increased capabilities as pressure on the United States to negotiate,” he says. “On the US and European side I think they view sanctions as pressure on the Iranians to negotiate.”
But the reality is that “only concession can get the two parties to actually negotiate and come to an agreement,” Abdi believes. “The parties need to actually realize that they have to give up some of these things that they’ve considered as leverage in order for there to be a resolution.”
If the US does not compromise on its sanctions Iran, Tehran will be left with the impression that they will never be able to meet the US demands. “It does seem like the sanctions are really only aimed at making the regime capitulate,” Abdi remarks.
This is a disastrous policy, he claims, saying that there has never been a precedent for a sanctions regime actually toppling a government. In reality, the only step between sanctions and regime change is war, he concludes.
Western countries and Israel suspect Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb and are pressuring it to stop enrichment of uranium. Tehran insists it is pursuing a civilian nuclear power program only, which it is entitled to do as a sovereign state.
The row escalated last year after the publication of a controversial report by UN’s nuclear watchdog, which Iran’s opponents used to justify issuing more sanctions.