The sanctions relief regime has begun. According to the Transparency International 2014 corruption perceptions index, Iran ranks: 136 /175. This is worse than most other countries, and worse than such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Rwanda, Tanzania, or Pakistan. This is not a standing in the global community conducive to good international business and trust; and not how Iran wishes to be regarded by the global business sector.
Like many other countries in the mid east, the words of Clausewitz, “ war is simply an extension of politics by other means”, is a constant barrier to peace. Given the size and education of its people, its wealth, its influence, this is both an opportunity and question for Iran. Does Iran wish to be a force for peace, stability and human rights in the Mid East? This is a tough question for them, and a long road in which actions will ultimately judge Iran, and all of us for that matter.
So what about tomorrow? An Iran, if willing to act in good faith, may elect to seek to explore issues with allies and prospective business partners regarding the peaceful honest economic development and global economic participation of Iran following sanctions relief.
Tomorrow Canada can choose to exercise leadership. We, with Iran and the global community can explore and encourage principled non-military economic trade and development that can contribute to international peace, stability and reconciliation.
We, with Iran, can explore current business and government best practices that enhance ethics and the reduce corruption.
Canada can lift sanctions accordingly and promote trade. We can contribute to peace through a view that “civilized people talk”. We can re-establish consular relations and engage in peace oriented diplomacy.
There are always possibilities for peace and better relations. It is hard work, but always worth the risks. Talk to your elected MP and let them know your views. Good luck to us all.