Talking to Madmen: A Strategy for Iran
An International Coalition of Negotiators is Needed
(DUBLIN, OHIO – February 22, 2012) – One of the world’s leading negotiation coaches has looked at the current problem that Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons is causing and is calling for “an international coalition of negotiators, the world’s diplomats, to aggressively seek a resolution to its intransigence.”
Jim Camp, founder of the Camp Negotiation Institute (http://campnegotiationinstitute.com) a Vietnam War veteran who flew missions during that conflict, believes that, along with the military presence in the Persian Gulf, the world’s leaders have to confront the question of “how to negotiate with madmen.”
His recommendation is that “You make like water and cover the situation with massive, solid alliances with every other nation that has the same mission and purpose to deter the Iranian leadership.”
“Without a common mission and purpose, the nations most affected by Iran’s displays of aggression, will not be able to bring its leadership into a dialogue that will demonstrate the foolishness of their current position.” Camp cited Iran’s embargo of oil affecting England and France, as well as its oft‐stated intention to destroy Israel.”
“Clearly the Israelis cannot negotiate with Iran, but the nations of Europe and the Middle East can. Russia and China must be engaged in such negotiations,” said Camp, “and, of course, the United Nations and the emissaries of its Atomic Energy Commission can play a major role.”
Saudi Arabia leads six Persian Gulf nations that together export 16 million barrels per day of crude oil through the 2-‐mile-‐wide shipping lane of the Harmuz Strait. “The impact on the loss of that oil, a significant percentage of the oil transported worldwide, is too great to permit its closure. Keeping it open is the essential mission and purpose of negotiations.”
Camp suggests that a coalition of the U.S., Russian, Chinese, French and Japanese navies is necessary to ensure the Strait remains open to passage and therein lies “the common purpose for a massive effort to negotiate a peaceful end to Iran’s objectives.”
“Convincing Iran that its pursuit of nuclear weapons is not in its interest is a global objective,” says Camp.
“Immediate negotiations should begin,” says Camp, “and if it takes the next thirty years of negotiations, then so be it. The history of the last century’s two world wars is reason enough to avoid war. Millions died in World War II because negotiations with the Nazi government of Germany and the government of the Japanese Empire failed for lack of a commitment to demonstrate the futility of their aggressive intentions.”
“A global crisis requires a global negotiating effort and process,” says Camp.
Citing the long series of negotiations during the Cold War and after, Camp noted that war with the former Soviet Union was averted and rogue nations like North Korea have been largely isolated and confined following the conflict of the 1950s, led by the United States under the aegis of the United Nations.
“War with Iran must remain the last option,” said Camp and negotiations that identify its problems and alters its current goals, delaying their acting upon them, will benefit all parties to the growing prospect of a military conflict.”
“It will take patience, require resolve, and focus on the necessity and benefits of peace.” “The passage of time, as Iran sits at the negotiation table, facing a coalition of diplomats determined to address the present situation will have a palliative effect because it will serve to defuse the present tensions and give the internal opposition to the present regime an opportunity to organize and prevail,” said Camp.
The Camp Negotiation Institute serves a worldwide participation of its students seeking certification at three levels of negotiation skills. Students from America to Brazil, China to Italy, Argentina to England, France to Russia, Sweden and Iraq, among the nations of the world secure training to improve their skills and their lives in doing so.
Camp’s unique approach to negotiation has been featured on CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc., Cosmopolitan, and numerous daily newspapers and radio shows.
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