How to remain relevant is a dilemma that confronts all Western women in old age. This is particularly acute for Hillary Clinton whose husband is a well-known philanderer and who was rebuffed by the Democratic Party for the presidential nomination
How to remain relevant is a dilemma that confronts all Western women in old age. This is particularly acute for Hillary Clinton whose husband is a well-known philanderer and who was rebuffed by the Democratic Party for the presidential nomination by giving the nod, of all persons, to a black man. She still nurses a grudge against the party establishment. To overcome the rebuff, she struts about the world as if she were not the secretary of state but president of the United States. Self importance, however, is a disease not confined to Hillary alone but she seems to take it all so personally.
Last month Iran’s nuclear deal undercut the fretting Madam Clinton had indulged in for more than a year. On May 17, the Islamic Republic of Iran signed a deal with Brazil and Turkey to ship its low-grade enriched uranium to Turkey in return for getting uranium enriched to 20% for medical research. This is something that had been proposed by the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) but the deal floundered on two points: first, Iran insisted on a simultaneous swap and second, that it would continue uranium enrichment for research work. Under the new deal, Iran would continue to do so but to show goodwill, it is willing to hand over 1200 kg of low grade uranium and receive only 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium within one year. Turkey would hold on to Iranian low grade uranium until the deal is completed.
The deal was hailed globally as victory for diplomacy. Both Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, no friend of Iran, welcomed it although the latter added a caveat that Iran must also stop uranium enrichment. Clinton was so furious at the deal that on May 18 she frothed before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee declaring: “We have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China.” She went on: “We plan to circulate that draft resolution to the entire Security Council… And let me say, Mr. Chairman, I think this announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide.” It is not clear what precisely have Russia and China agreed to since neither has spoken. American pronouncements cannot be taken at face value but why they oppose the deal is clear: the US has been left out in the cold.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said that following the Tehran agreement there was no need for further sanctions against Iran. Both Turkey and Brazil are on the Council and are beginning to flex their diplomatic muscles to question US unilateralism in global affairs. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and intended to produce energy. Despite anti-Iran propaganda, there is no evidence that Tehran has diverted any of its uranium for military purposes.
The Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal may prove a harbinger of future deals bypassing the bullying Western powers. If so, this would prove a good omen in international relations.