Diplomacy, Justice and Dinner

"Can you tell me why the U.S foreign policy seems puzzled when it comes to dealing with Iran?" Ferrinaz asked.

Ferrinaz, or Ferri as I call her, is a friend of mine who was born in Iran and came to the U.S with her parents. The family left Iran right after the revolution of 1979 that resulted in ousting the Shah. The family settled here in the U.S.

"What do you mean puzzled?" I asked.

"I feel the U.S foreign policy doesn’t know how to handle Iran. One day, the negotiations are delayed, then they are canceled or postponed. Then, the negotiations veer from discussing the nuclear power to be all about relaxing the sanctions." Ferri elaborated.

"Aren't the nuclear negotiations linked to the sanctions? What's wrong with talking about it all?" I asked.
A traditional gift from Ferri

"You see, Mishka, it isn't about what we talk about. It is all about how we talk about it." Ferri explained.

"What do you mean? What's wrong with how we talk?" I asked

"The notion of justice; Iran is invested in the notion of justice. Have you heard the latest statement from the Supreme Leader Khamenei? He said, 'Iran will continue to support the oppressed nations because it is just and fair. If you want something out the Iranians, you have to talk about why it is just and fair, not about why it is needed and how the international law enforces it." Ferri explained.    
"Ferri, come on now. What is the connection between a statement and the negotiations?" I asked.

"You see, the oppressed nations are those who are treated unjustly. Iran is willing to lean on the Iranians and stretch its resources, that are already spread thin, to support other nations because it is fair." Ferri said.

"What does supporting whomever Iran wants to support has to do with the negotiations?" I asked.

"Mishka, it is just like here in the U.S. If you want to win the heart of U.S diplomacy, you talk about democracy and how to spread it. You talk about human rights, freedom, and the rule of law. Over there, you talk about justice and how fair it is and why. Iran is willing to do whatever it takes to uphold its values."

"So, you are suggesting talking to them using their own values to steer the negotiations towards our goals?" I asked.

"Yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting. Isn't diplomacy is all about winning talks with talks?"

"Ferri, this is an excellent idea. But this is not how we should spend our evening. Are you hungry? Let's have dinner." I suggested

"After all that 'talk,' you bet I am," Ferri said.


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