Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Any “Improved Deal” with Iran Needs a Comprehensive Development Plan

Just as diplomacy between the United States and North Korea was moving forward rapidly, President Trump announced the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the P5+1 agreement with Iran. The US pullout has put pressure on both Iran and Europe to either renegotiate aspects of the original agreement or proceed without US involvement. The White House has given European and other international corporations between 90 and 180 days to divest of their economic programs in Iran, which is a substantial window of time in which to initiate new negotiations.

Nonetheless, it is a high-risk gamble by Donald Trump, one that could ultimately backfire and quickly spiral out of control, in particular given the Israel-Iran military provocations and the rising tensions over moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem. European countries, as well as Russia and China, have stated their continued support for the JCPOA, and Iranian President Rouhani has said that Iran will continue to comply with the conditions. But that could prove to be difficult, if the hardliners in the country strengthen their hand.

The IAEA has certified that Tehran is in full compliance with the agreement and US Defense Secretary James Mattis has also recognized that fact. But Trump has called the JCPOA the “worst deal ever”, and indicated that he has another one, although he has not provided any details.

That issue was taken up by Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her international webcast on May 9, who noted that if Trump’s alternative plan is to work, it has to include certain factors.

“First of all, any peace plan, or any security architecture has to take into account the security interests of all participating countries.” Iran has insisted on developing its own nuclear weapons program, she said, not only because of what happened to Saddam Hussein, and later to Muammar Qaddafi, but also because of the well-known secret that Israel has nuclear weapons. “So any agreement must include a security guarantee also for Iran, for it to work.”

Then, “given the condition of the entire Middle East, after the destructive wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, it is very clear that the only thing which will really solve the problems of this region would be what I have said many times before: You need the extension of the New Silk Road into the entire region, from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf, and have a development plan for all of these countries as an integrated whole.”

For that, Russia, China, India, Iran, Egypt, the United States, and European countries must agree to develop the region economically, and to rid it of terrorism.

If President Trump has a more comprehensive plan, Helga Zepp-LaRouche hopes it will include such joint ventures, as the only way to stabilize the situation. A step in this direction was the decision taken by President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Modi in Wuhan in late April, to undertake joint development projects in Afghanistan. Moreover, China is opening a new train route to Iran connecting Tehran and Bayannur, a city in China’s Inner Mongolia region.