Nathaniel Batchelder, director of the OKC Peace House (right) demonstrates in Oklahoma City with other members of Americans Against the Next War. Photo by Darla Shelden
By Nathaniel Batchelder, Americans Against the Next War
The US must not miss the opening right before us for agreements with Iran that would bring economic benefits to both nations. Such an alliance seems possible because the nuclear negotiations have been extended, and Iran is in compliance with dramatic demands for intrusive inspections by beefed up U.N. inspection teams.
The greatest benefit so far to the US and Iran is that negotiations have forestalled military action advocated by hawks, which could have sparked A regional war. The US has far more to gain with Iran as an ally than an adversary.
Iran’s population of 60 million people is a huge untapped market that is not yet open to US businesses, although European industries are moving in to establish trade. America’s ranchers and farmers would benefit from trade with Iran, because that country will buy meat and wheat, as well as other products common in our society.
Despite the historic tensions between our countries, the Iranian people remain pro-US and pro-western. On the evening of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US, a candlelight vigil in Tehran, Iran, gathered some 10,000 participants in a spontaneous outpouring of sympathy for the death and destruction caused by the attacks.
Iran is not only the oldest culture in the world, it is also the most sophisticated and western in the Middle East. Education and literacy rates in Iran are the highest in the Middle East, and the education of women is not controversial. Iran’s universities currently graduate more women than men.
Iran’s formidable size, population, regional influence, as well as common interests with the US in stability in the region, make an alliance with Iran a step beneficial to both nations.