July 27, 2015
Engaging in the Absence of Trust
The « historic » nuclear deal contracted between Iran and the United States, Russia, Britain France China and Germany has provoked a controversy of great magnitude in the United States.
Proponents of the deal argue that it is the best guarantee to restrain Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and reduces the risk of further U.S military involvement in the Middle East.
Opponents of the deal point out that Iran is governed by a regime that has a track record of deception and of not honoring its commitments and therefore cannot be trusted.
The Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran did nothing to appease the detractors when he said recently that:
“The so-called world powers of the world had to kneel down today in front of the will of the followers of Islam.”
President Obama acknowledged that trusting the Iranian government is problematic when he pointed out that this agreement is “not build on trust- it is built on verification.”
In most situations one can reasonably expect an opponent to act in his or her best interest. It is however not the case when dealing with fanatics whose interest can be detrimental to their well being. This is why making a deal with Iran is indeed particularly “problematic.”
We are often obliged to engage with people or organizations or even governments that we do not trust. Is it possible to keep our integrity and moral values in our dealings with someone who does not share them? Can we negotiate “in good faith” when we know the opposing party is not?
Our values are our own and are not dependent on our opponents’ values. By refusing to participate in the unethical practices of our opponents, we are in a position of moral strength. We may also, indirectly, expose our opponents’ lack of integrity.
The quote below from King Solomon is reassuring:
“The integrity of the upright shall guide them; but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.”