Ted Sheskin
Ted Sheskin

Breaking the Impasse in Iran Nuclear Talks

Recently, the US offered to rejoin nuclear talks with Iran. Iran rejected this offer, demanding that the US must first remove punishing economic sanctions imposed by former president Trump when the US withdrew from the nuclear agreement in May 2018. An impasse exists because Iran will not reenter negotiations before the US lifts sanctions, and the US will not remove sanctions until Iran resumes negotiations.

Israel opposed the original nuclear agreement because it believes that Iran’s repeated threats to destroy the Jewish state contradict Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program will have only civilian applications. Israel has additional reasons to distrust Iran’s peaceful intentions. For example, Iranian officials have taunted Israel by declaring that a single nuclear bomb can obliterate the tiny Jewish state which is only a fraction of the size of the Islamic republic. Furthermore, Iran’s proxy militia, Hezbollah, based in southern Lebanon, has over a hundred thousand rockets targeting every population center in Israel.

To break the impasse in Iran nuclear talks by acknowledging Israel’s security concerns, we offer the following simple suggestion. The US will withdraw its sanctions and resume negotiations of the nuclear accord with Iran so long as all Iranian religious and secular officials cease threatening to annihilate Israel. Sanctions will be promptly reimposed following the first announcement, by any religious or secular Iranian official on any media platform, of a threat by Iran to eliminate the Jewish state. If sanctions are reimposed, they can be removed only by a public apology issued jointly by the supreme leader and president of Iran on all media platforms, followed by a public promise by those officials that Iran will never again threaten to destroy Israel.

About the Author
Ted Sheskin is an emeritus professor of industrial engineering and the author of a textbook, Markov Chains and Decision Processes for Engineers and Managers. He has published peer-reviewed papers on engineering systems and mathematical algorithms. His letters to editors addressing politics, economic policy, and issues facing Israel and American Jews have appeared in the NY Times, Daily News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Jewish News, Jewish Week, and Jewish Voice.
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