A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, March 8, 2012

R. K. Ramazani: Iran Should Make a Gesture Now

R.K. Ramazani, Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia and the Dean of Iranian Foreign Policy Studies in this country, offers a suggestion to break the current impasse. Iran should "make a constructive offer now, before negotiations resume," even though some may view it as a surrender.
But Iran has shown before that it is capable of innovative moves without the fear of losing face. It voluntarily suspended uranium enrichment for about two years when it was negotiating with the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany). An Iranian conciliatory offer now would put to shame those who view Iran as “messianic” and “irrational” and would also honor the ancient Iranian value of “pragmatic wisdom” (hekmat-e amaly).
The prseent leadership aren't known for taking Ruhi Ramazani's advice, but perhaps they should think about it. If somebody doesn't break the spiral soon, someone could easily miscalculate.

Full disclosure: Professor Ramazani's close ties to The Middle East Institute date from the 1950s at least, and he is a dear personal friend, so I'm biased on this, but I wanted to share it.

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