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Image: Prime Minister of New Zealand Key talks with US President Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. John Key said how New Zealand “could offer leadership on the nuclear issue.”

Antipodean Villager writes:

Iran continues to face various threats and pressures, including increasingly, a fourth round of United Nations sanctions,  over its nuclear development program. Iran insists that this program is for purely peaceful purposes. The United Nations and others like the United States in particular want Iran to accept detailed monitoring of their program by the International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA).

Most of the following, unless otherwise mentioned, is based on a report US urges ‘constructive’ Iran dealings on nuclear issue

Dialogue with Iran proposed

Some parties, such as the European Union and Turkey are also engaged in dialogue, or wanting to facilitate dialogue between Iran, the United Nations and other interested parties. It has been suggested that the United States was displeased with such efforts by Turkey and Brazil

The other interested parties include, notably, members of the P5+1 group, which comprises the six major powers negotiating with Iran: the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

Currently, the United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is saying that she wants Iran to engage “constructively with the IAEA” and says dialogue to encourage this is “appropriate at this stage.” In this context, her State Department spokesperson Richard Crowley has “stressed that Ankara and Teheran, as neighbors, were ‘within their rights’ to continue their diplomatic contacts.” The Turkish foreign minister himself has been in phone communication with Hilary Clinton and has insisted in public that nuclear talks with Iran “could not take place without Turkey.”

It looks like there will be talks on the matter between Iran and the P+5 group, possibly around September.

Iran wants additional “others” to join the group of nations, although it does not specify who it would like. Turkey would be at least one strong candidate for this.

Is there any Turkish-New Zealand liaison going on?

Earlier Village Connections blogs have proposed that New Zealand take a close, if also low key interest in Turkish mediation efforts, and be willing to offer any diplomatic good offices if/where these could be of assistance.

There seem to be no public indications as to whether anything like this is being done or not. By so acting, however, “nuclear-free” New Zealand could situate itself to make a constructive contribution to help pre-empt what is shaping up to be an unprecedentedly dangerous situation.

 

The spectre of nuclear-weapons use

It is essential that diplomacy is successful, particularly so given that, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz citing the British Sunday Times, Israel is preparing to position submarines with nuclear capable cruise missiles off the Iranian coast.  ANALYSIS / The media-assisted psychological war between Israel and the ‘radical axis’

Special roles, therefore, for “nuclear-free” New Zealand?

In the light of this potential nuclear threat, it could become all the more relevant for “nuclear-free” New Zealand to liaise also with Israel so as to be better situated to assist with liaison between all involved if/as opportunities to do so arise.

This would be in keeping with the recognition that President Obama gave to New Zealand and its Prime Minister at the Washington Nuclear Security Summit last May. The US President there charged “nuclear-free” New Zealand with a special role in helping the world to become nuclear-free.  Subsequently, the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said how New Zealand “could offer leadership on the nuclear issue.” See Key lends support to Obama nuclear efforts by Tracy Watkins in Washington DC – The Dominion Post

Such diplomatic activity by John Key’s government would also give recognition to the hopes and efforts of “villagers” in localities who, throughout the country in the 1980s, campaigned to have their localities, and thence their country, declared nuclear-free as step towards a nuclear-free world. It was these efforts that ultimately led to John Key getting the special recognition and “commission” that President Obama gave him last May.

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