KT edit: Iran should change course, hold talks with the US

Published: Sun 12 May 2019, 8:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 May 2019, 10:12 PM

Iran is in dire straits and it has itself to blame for the economic and social ills plaguing the country. Come to think of it, Iran's economy has never really been able to realise its true potential since the revolution four decades ago. The vital sectors of the economy have been smothered under the ironfisted rule of the supreme leadership that has been consistently pursuing its expansionist agenda. It has focused more on military adventurism and given short shrift to the needs of the people. Those who could leave for a better future elsewhere have left the country already. Almost five per cent of Iran's population is international migrants as per the International Migration Report by the UN. Even now, there is anger on the streets as the people are unable to live fulfilled lives. Inflation has hit the roof, there aren't enough jobs, and the economy is in a tailspin. The renewed sanctions by the US are hurting the Iranian economy like never before.
Times are hard, as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani noted. However, instead of extending an olive branch to the US and showing earnestness in holding talks with the Donald Trump administration, the Rouhani regime has called for unity among the various political factions of the country. The seemingly moderate leader has failed to appreciate the power of dialogue and the need to address concerns of the neighbours. Iran's nuclear programme has been a cause of concern for countries not just in the region, but globally. Tehran needs to shun its nuclear agenda and come to terms with the regional countries. Development of peaceful relations with neighbours will lower tensions in the region, and increase Iran's influence rather than diminish it. Fear and suspicion sowed by Iran have not helped so far, perhaps it should try building peaceful alliances with regional players for once. The threat of nuclear proliferation is among the greatest risks the world faces. Denuclearisation of Iran is important for the region to feel secure, and for the stability in the Middle East.

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