This 9-points plan (click here for Arabic version) represents my own little contribution, offered through the auspices of the Tharwa Foundation, to ongoing efforts aimed at resolving the conflict in y home-country: Syria. As a peace plan, it may not represent the early expectations of the revolutionaries, not to mention my own, or any one side of this conflict for that matter. But parties to the Syrian conflict have to prepare themselves for settling for much less than they initially wanted and sought. The struggle for democracy is a complicated long-term process that requires continuous readjustments. It might begin with a protest movement or a popular revolution, but it does not end with it. Politics, no matter how derided and cynical it seems sometimes, remains a necessity.
The complicated issues related to the shape of future Syria and the nature and scope of the transitional justice process are differed to a later stage, due to the intricate calculations involved on all sides. The current plan merely aims to enable parties to the conflict, domestic, regional and international, to agree on a longer-term truce (perhaps as long as 5 years), while they negotiate a final settlement that might involve talks and compromises regarding developments in other countries and even other regions of the world, not only Syria. In other words, the idea is to exchange a violent long-term conflict for a long-term political process, no matter how complicated it is bound to be, in order to ease the suffering of the Syrian people.
The danger that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the region and the world is directly related to these weapons. Iran may never actually deploy these weapons or even threaten to deploy them against her perceived enemies, but having them might make her feel freer to embark on a more aggressive and expansionist foreign policy, including providing support to a growing assortment of rogue regimes, sectarian militias, death squads and terrorist networks under the belief that her nuclear arsenal would shield her from any serious repercussions.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he idea that Iran is entitled to have a sphere of influence in the Middle East ignores the wishes and aspirations of the majority population in the region. From a religious point of view, the majority of the population in the region is made up of Sunni Muslims, and most of those, while demonstrably religious, may not want to live under theocratic rule, especially when the version under consideration is premised on an extremist interpretation of Shiism. In terms of nationality, the majority population in Middle East is made up of Arabs, Turks and Kurds, and one of whom relish the prospect of Persian domination.
Iran will never give up its nuclear program. To them, having nuclear capabilities and a few warheads and missiles on the side is meant tom inoculate them against foreign dabbling. Iranian officials believe that, unlike Saudi Arabia whose breakup will come largely due to mismanagement on part of the ruling establishment, the only way the Iranian establishment they could face serious domestic troubles will come as a result of clandestine activities supported by Western governments. Having nuclear weapons will prevent that possibility, so they think, even as American drones and intelligence operations are busy destabilizing Pakistan, which has long been a nuclear power.