Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state who set out 12 demands on Iran in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, in Washington D.C. on Monday, 21 May 2018. It is urgent that the unending wars and destruction in the Middle East are brought to an end for the sake of its peoples, their right to life and security. The US is a paramount military power in the Middle East and it should carry out its moral responsibilities by doing the following:
1) Deal with the issue of nuclear proliferation honestly and equitably by including Israel in the process of denuclearisation. Ensure that both Israel and Iran provide an unqualified access to all nuclear sites through their respective countries to the IAEA. Supervise the denuclearisation of the region by removing the shadow of nuclear threat hanging over the people of the Middle East.
2) Prevail on Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and abandoning its policy of violence against unarmed Palestinian civilians. Prevent the establishment of new settlements on occupied Palestinian land and help end all the administrative laws that choke Palestinian lives. Ensure that Israel releases all political prisoners. Bring all parties including Hamas together to establish peace by an equitable and just settlement for Palestinians which ensures the security for both Israelis and Palestinians.
3) Restore the US funding to UNRWA which provides the basic needs of millions of Palestinian refugees in the neighbouring countries. Seek in collaboration with the regional powers a long term solution for to address the needs of these refugees for homes, food, health and education and their return to their homeland.
4) Ensure the security and integrity of Lebanon and stop Israel from violating its air space. Recognise that Hezbollah is a legitimate political force with historical roots in Lebanon and involve it in establishing peace in the area. Bring Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran together to ensure political stability and security in Lebanon.
5) Abandon the policy of regime change in Syria. Work with Russia and other regional powers for a political solution to the Syrian conflict. Stop the Saudi and Gulf states arming and supporting proxy groups and ISIS in Syria. Respect the integrity of Syria and stop any break up of its territory. With the other regional powers, Russia and the European Union, set up a mechanism for the reconstruction of Syria and for Syrian refugees to return home in the coming decade.
6) Prevail on Turkey to stop its occupation of the Kurdish region in the North of Syria and oppose any ethnic cleansing of the towns and villages of its Kurdish population. Recognise the aspirations of the Kurdish people as legitimate and urge Turkey to release all political prisoners in particular, the leader of the Kurdish people Abdullah Öcalan. Assist Turkey to find a political solution which is inclusive of its Kurdish citizens.
7) After the defeat of ISIS, take urgent steps with the Iraqi government to reconstruct the destroyed villages, towns and cities of Iraq with the use of the receipts from Iraq’s oil exports. Support the Iraqi government to build its non oil economic sectors, infrastructure, health and education systems. Stop the political fragmentation of Iraq and end the occupation of Iraq.
8) Bring an end to the conflict in Afghanistan since its invasion and occupation in 2001 by declaring ceasefire and agreeing a peace process with all parties including Taliban and the regional neighbours of Afghanistan such as Pakistan, India, Iran, Russia and China.
9) Prevail on its allies in the Gulf Coalition to stop the bombing in Yemen and lift the blockade of Yemen to enable humanitarian aid to reach quickly to millions who need it. Ensure that a ceasefire is established and set up a process to bring all parties to reach a political solution leading to the withdrawal of foreign forces. Help with the regional powers to reconstruct Yemen’s destroyed infrastructure and economy.
10) Understand the anxieties and fears of Iran in terms of its national security. Stop demonising Iran and recognise it as a regional power which has legitimate security interests. Lift all sanctions on Iran and let the Iranian economy have full access to the world market. Involve Iran with the other regional powers such as Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States and Egypt to secure peace and stability in the region
11) Prevail on Egypt to stop attacking peaceful protestors and release political prisoners and allow the freedom of expression and association for the opposition. Ensure that there is freedom from torture and security force violence in Egypt. Work towards restoring political freedoms in Egypt.
12) Work with the UN, Europe, Egypt and other relevant regional countries to implement UN plan to reconcile the different factions Libya to establish a unified democratic government in Libya. Help with the reconstruction of Libya’s infrastructure and economy.
Continue reading A response to Mike Pompeo’s 12 demands on Iran- what the US must do to bring peace and stability to the Middle East