A major problem in dealing with issues in the Middle East is the perception among people in that region is the alleged prejudice of the United States in favor of Israel and refusal to accord equal treatment to other nations. President Shimon Peres of Israel met with President Hu Jintao while in Beijing for the Olympics and urged his assistance in resolving Middle Eastern issues and problems. Jintao responded to the request by noting “we are interested in increasing our contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East.” Obviously, the Chinese leader was engaging in pleasant rhetoric, but there is always the possibility more actively engaging China in problems with Iran can have constructive outcomes due to China’s close economic ties with the Iranian nation.
Perhaps, it is time to acknowledge the US no longer can play a constructive role in fostering Middle Eastern peace due to its close ties with Israel. Turkey already is working with Syrian and Israel diplomats to hammer out a peace agreement. China should be invited to work with European and American diplomats on the issue of Iranian nuclear development. Iran remains obstinate when being told what to do by western powers. New voices might help to bridge gaps. They can not hurt the present failure to resolve Iran’s nuclear development.