Iran's vice-president has said efforts to improve security in Iraq depend on the withdrawal of US-led forces and an end to US interference in the country, BBC Internet has reported recently. Vice-President Parviz Davoodi said Iran wanted a secure and stable Iraq, and was doing what it could to achieve this. He was speaking after a second day of talks in Tehran between senior Iranian officials and Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki

The BBC's Pam O'Toole in Tehran says the two countries have forged increasingly close ties and Mr Maliki received a warm welcome there. Mr Maliki also met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian media said that after the meeting Mr Maliki expressed appreciation for Iran's positive and constructive stance on Iraq, including providing security and fighting against terrorism.

The US is not happy

No doubt the US views this cozying up to Iran differently. Iran is the ‘enemy’, part of an ‘Axis of Evil’, as defined by President George Bush. The problem with branding some country as the ‘enemy’ is that it virtually closes the door on diplomacy. By the way, the rhetoric about ‘evil’ is mutual. For years Iran has branded the US as the ‘Great Satan’. So Iran also closes the door on diplomacy. This kind of primitive mutual name-calling tends to result in war.

Is that really what we want? Do we want more war? Do we want to continue spending huge amounts of money on arms and armies, whereas it could be spent on health care, education and aid? Aren’t our priorities totally screwed up here? Think about it.

Now, if a country is attacked, it will have to defend itself. But does Iran really pose a threat to the US or its allies? Would Iran really try to attack us? Please don’t answer that they already did on 9/11. That’s like saying that the Oklahoma bombing was an attack from aliens. Or the Virginia Tech shooting an attack by Korea. The 9/11 attack was an attack by a terror organization, not another nation.

Transformation

Up to now political transformations have always come about after lots of bloodshed and destruction. For instance, the UN was created after World War II. So we may expect that the War on Terror will be the precursor of a major change. But what kind of change? This is what we should analyze and consider. What do we want? The Middle-East knows by now that if you attack America, it will hit back. The message has been delivered. The US should now do what Iran suggests and pull out, allowing other countries to step in and stabilize the region.

In the meantime we should start preparing for serious UN-reform. The UN must be turned into an organization to promote democracy. Seeing that the UN is a democratic institution, it stands to reason that its members must be democratic nations. If they are not, it is better to exclude them as members and observe unfavorable rules for trading with such non-democratic nations.

Such a reformed UN should offer clear incentives to dictatorial nations to move to democracy, letting them feel at the same time that totalitarianism has its price (a policy of patience reinforced by a carrot and stick approach). If anybody should claim that this thought – which may have to be adapted to make it more feasible – is unrealistic, he should ask himself how realistic the war in Iraq is? Of course, this proposal would cause a big problem with China. But in reality we have a big problem with China right now. Only we deny it and just hope that China somehow will move towards democracy by itself. As a matter of fact, it appears that China is doing just that. But the pace is very slow. UN-reform as suggested might increase the pace.  

Watch our daily video to see for yourself that something is going terribly wrong within the UN. The Israeli delegate may be exaggerating in Israel’s favor, but it is undeniable that the UN condones gross human rights violations all over the world. The way the UN functions now cannot really be taken seriously. We are not suggesting that US-style unilateralism is the answer. But the UN as it functions now is indeed a travesty of justice. Reform is urgently required and long overdue. And we mean real reform, no cosmetics.  

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