Ali Ettefagh at PostGlobal

Ali Ettefagh

Tehran, Iran

Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. He is the co-author of several books on trade conflict, resolution of international trade disputes, conflicts in letters of credit, trade-related banking transactions, sovereign debt, arbitration and dispute resolutions and publications specific to the oil and gas, communication, aviation and finance sectors. Dr. Ettefagh is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors of The Development Foundation, an advisor to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and an advisor to a number of European companies. Dr. Ettefagh speaks Persian (Farsi), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish. Close.

Ali Ettefagh

Tehran, Iran

Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. more »

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Seize the Long Term Opportunity

Tehran, Iran - The cessation of hostilities is a chance for the world to ask a fundamental question: Can all regional issues be framed within a completely new structure? Can we end sham-bolic band-aid therapy?

The UN Security Council has proven itself to be a dysfunctional bunch. Completely out of touch and unable to engage fresh ideas, it instead resorts to old, shortsighted policies. There are four lame ducks amongst the leaders of the UN Security Council's Permanent Five. In their remaining two years of leadership, two of them nurse a failed pet project in Iraq and busy themselves denying the indigenous vote and the fact that the "coalition of the willing" accelerated the end of secular politics in the region and caused a fundamental shift in Middle East power structures and alliances. Contrary to their forecasts, the Lebanon matter did not break out into another Shiite-Sunni skirmish.

A third council member was thus tasked to take charge of its former protectorate and lead the Council to compose a force under an inclusive plan with strong representation of Muslim countries. However, the trio is now baulking under Israeli pressure since some of those Muslim countries don't have diplomatic relations with Israel. Rules of engagement now serve as a convenient thin veil under which to let this issue fester. When confronted, these leaders resort to dispensing simple stories about the events of 25 years ago or one-sided accusations of "terrorism" to pacify their own electorate. They ignore massive crimes, humanitarian disasters and the bombing of civilian infrastructure.

Finally, they shift the argument onto the shoulders of the Lebanese army that has not purchased equipment for the last 28 years. They all expect the Lebanese army and its 30-year-old trucks to do the job and let its air force -- with its twelve Vietnam vintage helicopters -- to patrol the peaceful skies.

However, two other examples are simply ignored. Alas, both Bosnia and Northern Ireland can provide road maps. The older Irish issue has many elements similar to the Hezbollah situation in Lebanon where a domestic armed wing of a local political movement fought for its principles. Like Hezbollah, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had generous assistance from Americans and others. It all finally led to a deal of political equity. In contrast, the 12-14 year old Bosnian matter is an example of what happens when a peacekeeping project created by a United Nations Security Council resolution is not followed through with further political development.

The Lebanon matter must be seized upon with a long-term vision to objectively look at the past and at the future to find a realistic, sustainable and long-term political solution. This is, of course, a difficult task that indeed requires a "coalition of the willing". In a realistic world, this can only be achieved when both sides of the Israeli border are disarmed and demilitarized and, if necessary, occupied by an international force until such time that a final political solution can be reached -- be it over the next few years or over several decades in the future.

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